The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association (ICTGA) is appealing to Dubliners to buy a real Irish Christmas tree this year and support both local jobs and the economy in the process.
The association has launched a #lovearealtree campaign to highlight the merits of a real Irish tree, and to remind people of the joys of a traditional Christmas.
According to Christmas tree grower, Andrew Hatton, who sells trees in Dun Laoghaire, there is no comparison between a real Irish tree and a plastic, fake one. He said:
“By buying a real Irish tree Dubliners are supporting jobs and investing in something that is natural, sustainable, recyclable and that will beautifully decorate their home for the entire festive season.”
Hatton started growing Christmas trees nine years ago and has been selling the Nobel Fir, the Nordman Fir and Fraser Fir species for two years.
He is cultivating 50 acres in Wicklow and this year will harvest 3,000 trees for sale. He sees this becoming a full time business in the next two years as the trees mature.
Hatton has freshly cut trees delivered every day from his Wicklow farm to his retail outlet in Dun Laoghaire, beside the new library. Andrew says:
“A real tree is a tradition in Ireland which people are moving back to because of the experience of picking out an individual tree just for them. They also love the aroma that spreads through the home”.
“I am seeing a growing market for smaller but better quality trees, and I think this may be down to the fact people are living in smaller houses and apartments”.
Model and nutritionist Rosanna Davison is also totally behind the #lovearealtree campaign.
Speaking at the campaign launch in Dublin, Rosanna Davison said as a little girl buying a real tree each year with her family brought huge excitement. She said:
“I have such fond memories of going to our local garden centre with my Mum and Dad (singer Chris de Burgh), picking the perfect tree, bringing it home, and decorating it together.
“We always finished by putting the fairy on top.
“But the real magic happened going downstairs to the kitchen to have my breakfast each morning and my dad asking me to stand in front of the tree to say the magic word ‘abracadabra’ which switched the lights on.
“For years, I thought I had special powers and looked forward to testing them out every Christmas…until I discovered that my dad had been switching them on and off at the wall behind me!
“But it remains one of my earliest and most special memories of Christmas.”
Rosanna said she continues the tradition in her home, and will be putting up a real Irish tree this year.Advice on how to care for a real Irish-grown Christmas tree is available through www.lovearealtree.ie
Advice on how to care for a real Irish-grown Christmas tree is available through www.lovearealtree.ie