By Sophie Cross
Let’s be honest, Christmas really can’t come quick enough this year. We say get your trees up as early as possible whilst watching Elf, drinking mulled wine and eating mince pies obviously.
The tree is the centre-piece of Christmas and it’s always lovely to bring a bit of the outdoors inside, even more so in 2020. There are plenty of options of where to source your tree from whether you want a Nordmann Fir or a Fraser Fir. Whether you want the ease of having it delivered or to make a day of choosing your spruce or even cutting your own.
Environmental benefits of a real Christmas tree
You might be tempted to think that chopping down a tree isn’t great for the environment and that an artificial one would be better but they are made of plastic and often shipped great distances to end up in our shops. Locally grown trees are the best option or at least a tree grown in the UK with FSC certification. You’ll get a fresher tree that has been cut later which will also mean it will drop less.
Most local authorities offer a collection service to dispose of your real tree where they chip them for use in parks and gardens. This is the greenest way to get rid of your tree other than re-planting it in your garden. Both these ways can actually have a negative carbon footprint.
Garden centres are open for business
What could possibly make you feel feel more Christmassy than visiting your favourite garden centre to pick out your Christmas tree? Here are a few you could go to in London..
North - The Boma Garden Centre, NW5
South - The Nunhead Gardener, SE15
East - Lancasters Home & Garden, E17
West - W6 Garden Centre and Cafe, W6
Central - Spring Gardens Nursery, SE11
Pick and cut your own tree
To PYO, CYO and even DYO tree (pick your own, cut your own and dig your own), you’ll need to take a short trip out of London to Crockford Bridge Farm in Surrey. You can choose from four types of trees - Nordmann Fir, Norway Spruce, Fraser Fir or Blue Spruce and they have potted trees too. Tree cutting only takes place during daylight hours due to ‘elf and safety and you may need to book a slot in advance this year.
Tree delivery to your door
The Christmas Forest has five branches across London in Dulwich, Lavender Hill, Highbury, Stoke Newington and Putney. The have 3-foot to 8-foot Nordmann Firs available to collect or for next-day delivery and they also sell stands, lights and tree decorations.
5 tips for caring for your tree
1. Get a fresh chunk trimmed off the bottom when you buy or do it yourself before you bring it indoors.
2. Put your tree in water as soon as possible.
3. Keep your tree away from radiators and direct heat sources.
4. Keep your tree topped up with water (but be very careful near electrics).
5. If it has the root ball intact you can replant your tree. For the best chance of success, your tree will need time to re-acclimatise to the outdoors and plenty of water.
Please check before you travel for opening hours, bookings and if trees are available.