The story behind your Christmas tree – from seedling to centrepiece

The story behind your Christmas tree

From seedling to centrepiece - our home-grown trees are sustainably grown
Christmas tree saplings

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.

As your tree grows, the team nurture it regularly throughout the year to make sure it’s staying strong and healthy.

Keep an eye out on your forest walks mid-year and you may even catch a glimpse of your next real Christmas tree.

Being grown right here in the UK, your Christmas tree isn’t averse to a bit of wind or rain!

Forestry Commission staff inspecting trees for aphids

Stage 2: Growth

Man pruning a Christmas tree

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.

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.

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.

Loading Christmas trees into a Forestry Commission vehicle

Stage 4: Picking

Family choosing a christmas tree

Stage 5: Finding a new home

This is where you come in!

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.

Our forests become winter wonderlands 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 with 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 we grow the best quality trees in the country, so when you choose your Christmas tree from Forestry Commission England this year, you know it will make the perfect centrepiece for your home.

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Christmas tree field sunrise
Near you

Find your nearest Christmas tree sales site

This year, get your sustainably grown, high quality real Christmas tree from a forest near you.
With every purchase you’ll receive a free baby Christmas tree to look after, as a mark of our commitment to celebrate Christmas sustainably.

Remember to mark the start of the festive season with your family. Many of our sites will have a full range of activities for the kids, and a chance enjoy a festive workshop. There may even be an chance to meet Santa in his grotto!
Christmas Tree with Baubles
Competition

Win a £500 luxury cabin break

Make some truly magical memories on a relaxing cabin stay in the forest, with this exciting chance to win with Forest Holidays.

Enter your details for your chance to win a luxury Forest Holidays cabin break, where you'll be greeted by a beautiful woodland cabin in the heart of the forest.
Mountain biker at the top of a forest trail
Membership

Get the perfect Christmas present

Give a gift that lasts all year round. Create unforgettable memories and experiences with a Discovery Pass membership.

Membership grants you free parking and lots of incredible discounts, as well as providing support for your local forest.
Forestry Commission staff inspecting trees for aphids
Guide & Quiz

Which Christmas tree is right for you?

Can't decide between a Norway spruce, Nordman fir, or lodgepole pine?

Read our expert's guide, or take the quiz to help you choose the perfect Christmas tree for your home.

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