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One in five Swedish Xmas trees are stolen

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One in five Swedish Xmas trees are stolen
14:00 CET+01:00
Swedes love Christmas with some willing to shell out as much as 800 kronor ($120) for a Disney style tree but 600,000 spruces are stolen every year according to experts.

The cost of the average Christmas tree is 300 kronor but prices vary depending on where you live. Yuletide lovers in southern Sweden get the best deal where there is a huge supply and traders often position themselves outside shopping centres in order to attract customers. 

In Skåne there is often the option to "pick your own" where the customer can chop their own spruce for a 100 kronor.

That contrasts unfavourably with the capital where a king spruce, similar to something from a Disney film, will set a Stockholmer back 800 kronor.

Demand for yuletide spruces remains high according to the Swedish Christmas Tree Growers association.

"Rates are much the same as last year. A typical tree will cost between 200 and 400 kronor. A king spruce of good quality will be between 400 and 800 kronor," said Gunnar Göthner who sits on the board of the Christmas Tree Growers association.

Göthner added that the demand for Christmas trees was slightly increasing. He said that during the economic crisis a few years back that the amount of people buying the pricier king spruces reduced with more customers opting for the cheaper red spruce.

Stolen Christmas trees are quite common with an estimated 600,000 stolen each year meaning that one in five Swedish trees have been pinched.

The vast majority of stolen Christmas trees tend to originate from the forest counties of Dalarna and Jämtland in central Sweden and Värmland on the west of the country.

In 2011 police in Uppsala, north of Stockholm, caught two thieves stealing Christmas trees after following the tracks in the snow where they had dragged the loot from the scene of the crime. 

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