Ireland may face a Christmas tree shortage in a few years

Ireland may experience a future Christmas tree shortage as a result of this past summer’s heatwave.

The Irish Independent reports that while more mature Christmas trees thrived in the unusually warm summer weather, newly planted saplings struggled.

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Christy Kavanagh, chairman of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers' Association, said to The Independent that he planted extra trees this autumn to help rebound from the summer’s losses.

He said: "The drought didn't affect the big trees. A 9ft tree has roots down 9ft. They like the sun as they're a high-altitude species. So they liked our dry summer. As a result, the trees are very full.”

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"The [established] trees thrived in the warm conditions, whereas the young ones died," he added.

Denis Kelleher of Kelleher's Christmas Tree Farm in Co Kildare is enjoying a surplus of Christmas trees this year but said crop size in eight to eleven years could be affected.

Kelleher said: "We lost quite a high proportion of [seedlings], that's where most of the damage occurred. But we didn't have a problem with the older trees, in fact, they benefited from the sunshine ... We've got very good trees this year."

Speaking with The Irish Sun, farmer Tony Kinlan and father Seamus from Wicklow Way Christmas Trees said: “We didn’t have any losses ourselves, but we heard a lot of other places lost a lot of trees.”

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“We were lucky because we only plant every two years and this wasn’t one of them, but I’ve never seen the reservoir in Roundwood as low as it was last summer.”

They added the environmental importance of buying a real tree as opposed to a fake one: “When you buy a plastic tree, it’ll be around for a couple of thousand years. Ours are biodegradable, we mulch the trees afterward and they go back to the land.”