Irish Christmas Trees

christmas tree

In search of best value, a series of Christmas tree online questions led me to Kehoe’s Blooming Brilliant Garden Centre. They sell a non shed [Nordman Fir] fresh Christmas tree for €39. Orla McDermot told me that Superquinn were selling live Christmas trees [Picea Omorika] for €19.99. and whilst one can also pick their own from a tree farm in North County Dublin, it was an idea from Finbar O’Mahony and West Cork Secret Garden Centre on Friday’s SodShow that introduced me to the concept of leasing a live Christmas trees.

The #SodShow Friday 2nd December. Dublin Garden Radio Podcast (mp3)

According to Bord Bia, the Christmas tree harvest is currently underway due to favourable harvesting conditions. It is expected that approximately 700,000 trees will be harvested this year by Irish growers, 400,000 for the home market and 300,000 for export.

Since the Christmas tree was introduced into Ireland, growers have strived to meet consumer expectations with respect to the shape, balance of branch layers, scent and colour of the tree. This year is no exception and it is notable that the quality of this year’s harvest is excellent, according to Dermot Page, President, the Irish Christmas Tree Grower Association.

kehoe's christmas tree superquinn christmas tree

It takes seven to ten years to produce a 2 metre tall tree, and this means year round care for the life of the tree, including weed control, pruning and shaping by growers on their plantations to produce a quality tree. It is also important to note when considering which tree to purchase that real Christmas trees are environmentally friendly as they can be recycled, while the land used for growing them can be replanted or returned to traditional agricultural practices.

Christmas Tree Facts 

  • The first recorded reference to a decorated Christmas tree was in Riga Latvia 1510 just over 500 years ago. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890.
  • An artificial tree will last up to six years in your home and centuries in landfill sites.
  • In 1884 Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) is credited with bringing the Christmas tree tradition to Windsor Castle.
  • The Scandinavians originally decorated their trees with fishing nets and little flags while the Germans were known for decorating their trees with red apples and white wafers.
  • There are over a hundred growers of Christmas trees in Ireland.

Why buy a real Christmas Tree?

  • Locally grown Christmas trees are really fresh due to the reduced travel stress on them.
  • There is tremendous variety and a large range of different size trees available to meet your particular needs.
  • Once cared for properly, non-shedding trees such as the Noble Fir and Lodgepole Pine will not lose their needles.
  • Real Christmas trees are great value as they retail at the same price as they did in the late eighties.
  • Each tree is cultured as an individual tree and produced to the highest quality standards from the time they are planted right through to delivery.
  • Your real Christmas tree is a natural resource and therefore can be recycled.  This is in contrast to artificial trees, which are usually made of metal and plastic materials and use oils and minerals in their manufacture.
  • The forest environment is protected by the fact that Christmas trees are continually being planted to replace those trees being harvested.  This is in accordance with sustainable yield management promoted by the Forest Service.
  • As well as adding to the beauty of our landscape, growing Christmas trees produces large amounts of oxygen and removes the harmful carbon dioxide or “greenhouse gas” from our atmosphere.  Real trees also provide natural habitats for forest animals and birds.

Caring for your Tree

  • After purchasing your tree, cut an inch or two off the bottom of the tree’s stem and stand it in a bucket of water.  Shake off any loose needles before bringing the tree indoors.
  • Once inside, stand the tree in a special Christmas tree stand or in a bucket with a water bowl.  Add a pint of water to the water bowl and top up daily.

Christmas Tree Safety

  • Place the tree in the coolest part of the room making sure it is properly secured and away from doorways, stairs, heaters, radiators and open fires.
  • Make sure that lights on the Christmas tree or lights used for decoration elsewhere are properly wired and comply with the current EU standards of safety.

Always unplug tree lights and other decorations when leaving the house or going to bed.

Where to buy

Find out where the nearest Christmas tree outlet is in your area.  This can include shopping centres, garden centres and any of the 60 members of the Irish Christmas Tree Grower Association. (Visit You and your family can have a lovely Christmas experience by travelling to a Christmas tree farm where you can select your own tree and have it cut down.  Alternatively, you can choose one already on display.

After Christmas

After the festive season, your tree can also be recycled for use as mulch; check your local Council or Corporation’s website for Christmas tree recycling arrangements. If potted, your tree can also be replanted in your garden.

I have already been in touch with Fingal County Council and will publish a list of recycling places here later. Now if only there were a home for all of those live Christmas trees to go to….. anyone ?

The #SodShow Friday 2nd December. Dublin Garden Radio Podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, all good podcast stores.

The #SodShow Friday 2nd December. Dublin Garden Radio Podcast (mp3)

The SodShow – with Peter Donegan & Brian Greene – Every Friday 3pm – Live

Listen to The SodShow Live @ 3pm:

  • Tune in: 103.2fm on your radio dial if you are in the Dublin area
  • Listen live online: every Friday 3pm via – on your phone or desktop

With thanks To This Weeks Guests:

On todays show we talk to Finbar O’Mahony of West Cork Secret Garden Centre about a different way to buy your Christmas tree this year…. and of course much much more.

garden centre west cork secret west cork secret garden centre

Listen Later:

Making Contact:

the sodshow

About The SodShow:

The SodShow, Dublin City’s Garden Radio Show with landscape gardener Peter Donegan and armchair gardener Brian Greene airs on Dublin City FM Friday’s at 3PM.

Join Peter & Brian for an alternative view of all things outdoors with studio guests, field recordings, educational talks in a fun and unique garden radio style. With tools, plants & garden work for the week and trip to Dublin’s famous and well hidden parks & gardens the SodShow is fast growing to be a permanent fixture on Dublin’s radio dial since its launch in March 2011.

The SodShow is quite unique in that it started life as a popular podcast crossing over to live radio due to its growing demand.

Forget those Botanical Latin names (the presenters do as a rule) and roll up your sleeves. From gardening with a window box in an apartment to camping at oxegen, from chitting potatoes to making elderflower champagne you get it all on Dublin’s zaniest radio show.

The Sodshow is podcasted, blogged, streamed and live tweeted to the world via its internet site:

The Sodcast – Episode 20

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The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, all good podcast stores.

Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 19 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Fancy a Sodcast Mug for your cuppa…. ? There are now only 3 of these mugs in the entire world. I have one. 😀

Anything else you can contact me in the following ways

This Week On The Blog:

Links For The Podcast:

Irish Weather Online

Jane Powers:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

@DoneganGardens Our Christmas Tree is better than the Roosevelt Centre one in Elf according to our kids. Thanks for the tip. Great price too

Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn announces new EU report entitled A decade of EU-funded GMO research

The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.

extract: “The introduction of such advanced processes and materials based on biotechnology and GMOs, has enormous potential not only to enhance quality of life while reducing environmental footprints, but also to improve the competitiveness of European industry.”

This email in From Alison at Pierce Communications

Loving your blog Peter. Great example of making digital comms work within a traditional industry!!

And Finally:

Choosing the right Christmas tree….

Nollaig 09



Unknowns to most, possibly, in Ireland  we buy approximately 500,000 trees every year and it takes roughly 7 years to grow one tree.

At an average retail price of €30 – 40 thats not bad value 😉

Without getting into the horticultural technical stuff… [just for todays anyway] I like to go and help pick mine fresh from the field… something kinda Christmas-eeeee about it.

And thats exactly what I did this year once again…. except I didn’t choose the tree. In fact its the only time of the year I don’t 😉 I don’t do the decorating either…. Looks a bit bare without a selection box and wooly red reindeer jumper underneath, wouldn’t you say 😆 and yes I’m the Christmas star on top was the one my niece Lilly made for me last year 😉

As a by the way….. I’ll be putting these photos in the Bord Gáis Nollaig 09 folder. I went out on a photo walk with some really cool guys on Saturday and some of The Bord Gáis team [thank you ! ]- I’ll put my other Pix up there too…. feel like popping out and buying a reindeer now 😆

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