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Christmas Trees

The story behind your Christmas tree – from seedling to centrepiece

Picking and decorating your Christmas tree is a wonderful way to mark the start of the Christmas season with your family, but where does your Christmas tree come from, and how was it grown?


A lot of love and hard work goes into growing your perfect Christmas tree – read on to discover the story behind your tree.

Stage 1: Seedling

Out in the forest, all year round, there’s a team of people who help make your Christmas magical. They’re your Christmas tree team and they’re 100% committed to growing your perfect Christmas tree.

Forestry Commission Christmas trees start their life as a small seed, grown here in the UK. Your expert team carefully plant the seedlings, one by one in the forest, giving them enough room to flourish and grow.

Stage 2: Growth

As your tree grows, the team nurture it regularly throughout the year to make sure it’s staying strong and healthy. Being grown right here in the UK, your Christmas tree isn’t averse to a bit of wind or rain.

Stage 3: Pruning

When your tree reaches a good size, our team of experts will tidy it up to ensure a good shape and fullness.

It will be expertly pruned, removing any shoots and branches which give your tree an awkward shape, and give the tree a tidier appearance.

Stage 4: Picking

Soon your Christmas tree will reach its perfect size. Typically 6 or 7 years after planting, your Christmas tree is ready to be picked.

The Forestry Commission team carefully measure, label and harvest the best trees, choosing a variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you prefer a Norway spruce, Lodgepole pine or Nordman fir, we’ve got the tree for you.

Not sure which tree is best for you? Try our Christmas tree quiz!


Did you know? When you buy a Forestry Commission England Christmas tree, you will receive a free baby Christmas tree to look after. This is a mark of our commitment to celebrate Christmas sustainably.

Stage 5: Finding a new home

We work hard all year round to ensure that you get the highest quality trees. Once our part is done, come to the forest to pick your perfect tree and give it a new home.

Your local forest starts to become a little bit Christmassy at this time of year, so when you come to choose your perfect tree why not make a day of it? Our expert helpers will guide you through the process of finding the best tree for you, leaving you energy to explore the forest with your family (you may even bump into Santa himself)!

Once you’ve got your tree home, it’s time to decorate it. We love seeing your photos of creatively decorated Christmas trees! Share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let us know what you love about Christmas.

It takes time, care and knowledge to make sure we our trees grow and champion the best quality trees in the country, so when you choose yours from Forestry Commission England this year, you know it will make the perfect centrepiece for your home.

Last updated: 14th December 2017

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.