Press Information – Christmas trees
Christmas Tree Grower of the Year 2005
Last month at the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (www.BCTGA.co.uk) annual competition Steve Westley Smith won the award for Best Fir and Overall Champion for his entry, which was grown on his plantation at Littlefield Farm, Harpenden, Herts.
Steve and his father planted Christmas trees when they grubbed out their famous Cox apple orchard and have been growing and selling Christmas trees on this farm for twenty years but have never thought of entering the National Competition.
‘We take a lot of care over the trees because our customers come for the quality and also for the atmosphere here at the farm at Christmas”, said Steve.
Piers Lavan from Needlefresh Direct, the UK’s largest supplier of real Christmas trees added ‘I’ve seen quite a few Christmas tree plantations and when Steve invited me up to the farm to help choose a tree for the competition I jumped at the chance. We walked the plantation for an hour or so and could have chosen any number of trees to enter the competition with. The eventual selection was a tree that already had a ticket on it which indicated it was due to be cut in December for the retail site this year.’
Littlefield farm grows mostly Nordman fir, a needle retaining variety of tree and has a range of trees from 3ft to 30ft. The crop is sustainable as all cut trees are replaced and as the sales are all made locally it has a huge ‘carbon positive’ environmental impact. Christmas trees are also 100% recyclable and biodegradable.
One of the responsibilities of the Champion British Grower is to supply a tree to Number 10 Downing Street and this will be done on Friday 9th December.
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