Hillier Garden Centre at Syon Park advise on how to choose a tree (Ad)
Our Christmas Tree Collection
Did you know, the Christmas tree you welcome into your home has already benefitted from almost a decade of expert care? Sit back and enjoy the story of the fragrant green guest in your home.
One of our favourite times of the year at Hillier Garden Centres is mid-end November when thousands of real Christmas trees arrive at our Centres and we set up our magical tree ‘forests’! All our premium quality, UK grown trees are hand-picked by horticultural experts from our dedicated UK Christmas tree growers.
Our plant experts will be on hand to help you select your tree when you visit. Once you’ve chosen your tree, we will then net it and keep it safe until you’ve finished your shopping. Stay a little longer and hunt out the many other botanical treasures in our atmospheric Christmas tree forests, from natural wreaths to containers bursting with winter colour.
Once you have chosen your Christmas tree this year and carefully positioned it in your home, take a moment to reflect on the life it has led up to this point and the near-decade of expert care it has received so it is at its very best for your festive display.
A Specialist Crop
Christmas trees are crops grown on specialist farms, just like cauliflower or wheat. They are not cut down from wild forests but come from environmentally managed plantations. These plantations often stretch across rolling hills, where Christmas trees grow best – terrain that is often unsuitable for other crops.
A Decade of Benefits
It takes time to grow a be
autiful Christmas tree – a six-foot tree takes just under a decade to grow. During this time, it will provide many benefits to the environment; cleaning the air, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releasing clean oxygen. Every ten acres of Christmas trees grown produces the daily oxygen requirement for over 150 people. Once a tree is cut down, the farmer will plant at least one in its place. Christmas tree plantations are a valuable habitat for wildlife. Flora and fauna shift with the 10-year rotation of the crop and all growing methods are specially selected with the aim of keeping any impact to a minimum.
Starting from Seed
All Hillier Christmas trees start their life as specially selected seeds. These are then nurtured into seedlings before being planted out in the fields of a select number of specialist Christmas tree growers in Scotland. A great deal of love and care is given to the seedlings as they grow. A lot of this work is done by hand, which means each tree is treated individually and the impact on surrounding wildlife kept to a minimum.
After the tree has been growing for about three years, pruning can begin. Each tree is individually shaped every year with great care taken to select a straight leader. Pruning encourages the remaining buds to grow more vigorously; this produces lots of branches making the trees bushy and uniform. The bottom branches are removed from the trunk, which makes it easier to mount in your stand at Christmas. This also maximises airflow and helps to control fungal diseases.
Christmas tree plantations are a valuable habitat for wildlife. Flora and fauna shift with the 10-year rotation of the crop and all growing methods are specially selected with the aim of keeping any impact to a minimum.
Selection and Delivery
Come September, the trees begin to be selected for harvest. In November, they are then felled by skilled chainsaw operators. They lie in the field for two days after being cut to stop them transpiring and to minimise overheating during transportation.
All Hillier trees are as fresh as possible because they are delivered into centres shortly after cutting, where the great care for the trees continues.
Your Christmas Tree Experience
When you visit your nearest Hillier Garden Centre, you will see the Christmas trees carefully arranged in the outdoor plant areas; or our Hillier Christmas tree ‘forests’ as we like to think of them, filled as they are with the beautiful fir-tree scent. The varieties and heights are clearly labelled, making it easy for you to find the right tree and Hillier staff will always be on hand to give help and advice. The trees have been un-netted so you can have a thorough look at them to make your choice.
Once you have selected your perfect tree, we will tag it, net it and keep it safely aside for you. This means your hands are free to continue browsing or enjoy a hot drink in our Restaurants. Simply bring the tag to the till when you are ready to go. We will carefully carry your tree to the car for you and bid it – and you – a fond farewell.
How to Pick the Perfect Tree
Whatever size and style of tree you opt for, follow our tips and choose the perfect one for you:
- Check the tree thoroughly before purchasing. Don’t buy a tree that is already wrapped
- Know the height and width of the space you will put it in. Many people are conscious of height but less aware of the available width. Don’t forget to allow room for your tree topper!
- Look for nicely layered branches without damage (not that you will find damaged branches on a Hillier tree!)
- Glossy colour indicates the tree has not dried out
December 9, 2021