The Irish Christmas Tree Growers (ICTG) group is expecting sales of trees in advance of Christmas to be in the region of 650,000.

The ICTG has been running a campaign to highlight Irish-grown trees as the most environmentally friendly option, due to the replanting of harvested trees.

The group says that consumers have responded to the campaign “with gusto”.

Over 80 Christmas tree growers from across the country are involved in selling Christmas trees to the public over the festive period.

This work intensified during the past week, as growers worked to keep up with the growing demand.

Of these 650,000 trees, 450,000 are set to be sold throughout Ireland, with a further 200,000 destined for European markets, such as the UK, Germany and France.

“It can take between seven and 10 years before an Irish-grown Christmas tree is in peak condition and ready for harvesting,” said Christy Kavanagh, chairman of the ICTG.

We had a good harvest this year as growing conditions have been particularly optimal. Trees are displaying a good colour, so we are looking at an excellent 2019 crop.

“It is great to see the public supporting their local economy by choosing Irish -grown Christmas trees,” Kavanagh added.

The ICTG says that Ireland’s climate provides the “ideal conditions for growing top quality Christmas trees”, pointing out that the nordmann fir and the noble fir are the most popular varieties.

The Christmas tree industry as a whole is worth some €21 million to the national economy annually.