This year the Irish Christmas Tree Growers (ICTG) association is encouraging everyone to choose an Irish-grown tree by looking for the ‘Love a Real Tree’ label, as more than 600,000 trees are expected to be harvested before the end of this year in Ireland.

As part of the ‘Love a Real Tree’ campaign launched by the ICTG, this national labelling system aims to help consumers support the local economy and easily find a tree that has been grown in Ireland.

At present, more than 80 Christmas tree growers from around the country are harvesting their seasonal crop. The work has intensified this week with growers working to meet deadlines to ensure an adequate supply of trees in advance of Christmas.

Up to 400,000 trees are expected to be sold throughout Ireland and a further 200,000 will be exported to European markets, such as the UK, Germany and France.

Tony Johnston, chairman of the ICTG, explained the process, noting: “It can take between seven to 10 years before an Irish-grown Christmas tree is in peak condition and ready for harvesting.

We are expecting an excellent harvest this year as growing conditions have been particularly good, trees are displaying a good colour so we are looking at an excellent 2017 crop.

According to the grower group, Ireland’s climate provides the ideal conditions for growing top-quality Christmas trees, with the non-shed Nordmann Fir and Noble Fir proving to be the most popular by far.

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The industry as a whole is worth an estimated €21 million to the national economy annually.

Komatsu Forest

On the subject of Irish forestry, a delegation from Komatsu Forest recently visited the Rathcoole-based headquarters of McHale Plant Sales in Greenogue Industrial Estate, in the wake of its appointment to distribute the forestry machinery range of timber harvesting and forwarding machinery in Ireland – north and south.

Led by its president and chief executive officer, Mitsuru Ueno, the delegation viewed the company’s facilities and met with staff, before meeting with sales director John O’Brien to hammer out future plans for the Irish market.