By Sally Churchward » Senior Feature Writer (Southampton Echo)...
For many people, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a real tree taking over a sizeable part of the living room.
But there is a risk that there won’t be enough trees to go round this year.
Christmas tree suppliers are warning that if you leave it too late, you might miss out.
And even if you do get a real tree, you may have to pay more for it than you had expected.
There has been a shortage of trees over the last few years but thanks to the adverse weather conditions, this year the situation is particularly bad.
The problem took root in 2005, when EU subsidies for growing Christmas trees were axed. The effect was to reduce the number of growers in Denmark – one of the main exporters of Christmas trees, according to The British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association.
Catch-up “We’re growing more trees in this country but we’re in a catch-up exercise,” said Roger Hay, the association’s secretary.
“Also, because of changes in the value of currency, many Danish growers find it more economical to send their trees to Eastern Europe than to the UK. The change has been occurring over the past few years but it’s dramatically worse this year.”
He added that a number of other factors had also resulted in a shortage of trees this year, including a severe frost in Northern Europe in May which damaged a lot of trees and made them unsaleable.