The Norwegian spruce will be transported to Trafalgar Square where it will be lit up on December 7
Christmas is just a month away and families have started putting their trees up. But did you know these ten facts about the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree?
- The historic Trafalgar Square Christmas tree has been chopped down today in Norway by the Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Ian Adams, 70 years after the first one was donated to Britain.
- Councillor Ian Adams and the Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen took part in the tree-felling ceremony in Oslo.
- The 21m-tall Norwegian spruce will now be transported to Trafalgar Square, where it will be lit up during a ceremony on December 7 at 6pm.
- Oslo has sent a tree to the London every year since 1947 as token of gratitude and commemoration of Britain’s support during the war when the Norwegian government and royal family lived in exile in London during Norway’s occupation.
- Not just any tree can be honoured with the Trafalgar Square role and there are a number of conditions the spruce must meet. The Christmas tree requires good soil. It must have evenly set branches, be cone shaped, and narrow enough for transportation.
- The Agency for Urban Environment at the City of Oslo is responsible for providing the Christmas tree to London. They reportedly keep a list of potential Christmas trees and the candidates receive extra care.
- Trees surrounding the selected candidates are removed to provide for proper light conditions and the best conditions possible for the roots. The trees are fertilized on a regular basis to ensure a strong green colour. Even then, only 1 in 20 trees “make the cut”.
- The tree must be located near a road for trucks to be able to access and retrieve it. A crane loads the Christmas tree onto a trailer with a specially designed crib.
- The tree is always cut to 21 metres in order to fit the crib. DFDS transports the tree across the North Sea. To protect it from seawater the tree is stored below deck.
- The ship docks at Immingham before the journey continues to London and Trafalgar Square.