How to find an eco-friendly Christmas tree

What’s better than a beautiful Christmas tree? Well, according to Simon Hough of Forestry England, a beautiful Christmas tree that’s sustainably grown is the best source of festive cheer.

“Christmas trees really are the embodiment of the season, so it’s important that the tree you pick gets you glowing inside from knowing that it’s been grown in a sustainable way,” Simon explains.

He knows just the place to get one, too. Forestry England’s sustainably-grown trees are available across England from a variety of sellers which you can find by searching for your postcode on Forestry England’s website.

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Their sustainable tree cultivation goes back over 100 years, with the state service growing and caring for over 1,500 forests. They cut down trees while thinning areas of forest – a natural part of their forestry management process. This produces timber for a variety of purposes including Christmas trees.

“So you see, the way we cultivate Christmas trees is just a normal part of the forest management cycle,” Simon says. “Often companies cut down Christmas trees on a much quicker cycle, but we harvest them in a slower and more careful way.”

Once the festive period is over, Simon recommends sending your tree to a recycling service. Local authorities often collect trees to turn into woodchips, and charities will sometimes use old trees for a good cause. “If you ask at your approved Forestry England centre they’ll have suggestions for local services you can contact,” he advises.

“I think the public forest estate is a hugely important part of life,” he says. “Forested sites across England are the largest provider of recreation. It’s nice to buy a tree that you know has been grown locally so in a way, that protects our forests and the environment rather than ordering something online that will get shipped from elsewhere.”

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Forestry England is a division of the government’s Forestry Commission, tasked with managing, maintaining and increasing woodland cover in England.

The organisation is the country’s biggest provider of sustainable timber, helping to reduce timber imports and the resulting emissions from international transport. It also conducts conservation work across its estate, protecting wildlife and nature.

To find a sustainable Christmas tree near you visit