As has become our tradition, we end the year with Christmas trees! Cities across Europe have once again turned to local, PEFC-certified forests for their trees, ensuring that the chosen tree has come from a well-managed, sustainable forest.
London’s festive season kicked off in sustainable style with the lighting of the iconic Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree. This year's Christmas tree, a traditional annual gift from Norway to the people of London, is 25m high and more than 100 years old.
The Norwegian Spruce has been harvested from a PEFC-certified forest from the Ostmarka area just outside Oslo. Jon Christiansen, who manages the forest owned by the city of Oslo, said that they have prepared this tree for a long time before it was sent to London.
“The trees that are selected as potential gifts get extra care and treatment every summer,” said Mr. Christiansen. “They get extra space around them so they get a lot of light and can grow free from competition from other trees. They are also fertilized and cared for so that they will have many regular branches and become dense and fine and look good as Christmas trees.”
In Milan, a 30 meter spruce tree from Trentino can be found in the city’s Piazza Duomo. A true symbol of peace, the tree comes from a region where many of the trees still bare the scars of bullets from the First World War in their bark.Christmas trees from PEFC-certified forests can be found throughout Italy’s cities this year. In Rome, the 25 meter tree decorating St Peter’s Square came from the PEFC-certified forests of Bavaria, Germany. Next to the tree, a traditional nativity scene, including 24 life-size figures, has been carved from PEFC-certified wood from Fiemme in Northern Italy.
In Belgium, the Christmas tree adorning the city’s Grand-Place is once again from a PEFC-certified forest. The 21m, 80 year old tree came from the Plateau des Tailles state nature reserve in the Municipality of Vielsalm in the Wallon region of Belgium, from a PEFC-certified wood at an altitude of 600m.
“We must encourage the improvement of the forest habitat, hence the importance of sustainable certification of our forests,” said René Collin, the Wallon Minister for Forests and Tourism. “In order to protect the products and services that forests provide us with, Wallonia has been working with PEFC since 1999, better adapted to the local situation and the characteristics of our extremely diverse Walloon forests.”
From the Town Hall to Schillerplatz, and from the old castle to Schlossplatz, Stuttgart’s four main Christmas trees all come from the PEFC-certified Albstadt community forest.
Staying in Germany, the European Parliament in Strasbourg boasts a Christmas tree from the PEFC-certified forests of the Bavarian State Forestry, and the Hessian federal state parliament once again received a gift of a PEFC-certified tree from the Hessian forest owner association.