Real or artificial? Chairman of national Christmas tree growers group on why the real thing is the only way to go

John Hardwick, chairman of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, believes nothing beats a real tree.

John Hardwick, chairman of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, believes nothing beats a real tree.

First published in Somerset by

BRIGHT and wonderful trees will soon be sprouting up in thousands of windows across the county.

That’s right, Christmas is fast approaching and what better way to get in the jolly spirit than making a festive tree the latest addition to your home.

But will you be opting for a real tree, or the increasingly popular artificial version?

Fake trees and decorations are now perceived a common thing for a lot of homeowners, but according to John Hardwick, chairman of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, nothing beats the smell of a real one.

He said: “Artificial trees are what they are – artificial. There’s no real ambiance or excitement like going out with your family to a farm or a garden centre and picking your tree, taking it home and decorating it.

“That’s what the whole experience is about at Christmas. There’s nothing good about dragging a fake tree down from the loft every year and putting it back.

“With a proper tree you know what you’re getting. The good quality ones last the whole Christmas period and really as long as you need them to.”

Based in the Quantock Hills, John has been growing trees for years, and despite long wintry mornings, he wouldn’t change it for the world.

John added: “We are always growing trees – we plant one as soon as others are sold and it’s a ten-year process. You have to plan ahead as it can be even longer for a 15-footer.

“I’m expecting to be busy – hopefully families will be coming to pick their trees soon.”

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