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How the long, dry summer has affected Sweden's Christmas trees

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How the long, dry summer has affected Sweden's Christmas trees
A Swedish Christmas tree plantation. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT
08:43 CET+01:00
Christmas trees grown in Sweden are more vividly green after a summer of extreme drought, but there is also a risk of a shortage of the firs and spruces.

"Caucasian firs have a more beautiful, darker green colour this year than they usually do. The drought has made the trees mature, and that gives a beautiful colour," Claus Jerram Christensen, head of Danish Christmas Trees told ATL.

These firs are indigenous to Turkey, Georgia and the Russian Caucasus, and are therefore used to warm, dry summers. 

But for other species, the summer has had damaging effects.

"A very large part of my new plantation has been ruined," said Gunner Göthner, who runs one of Sweden's largest Christmas tree farms.

The consequences of the dry weather aren't likely to be seen in the number of trees this season, but will become apparent over the next few years.

That's because a typical fir or spruce taxes between five and ten years to grow, depending on the variety, so the shortage in trees is likely to be noticed in five to six years' time, while the shortage of Caucasian firs won't be apparent until around eight to ten years' time.

It's not only in Sweden that Christmas trees have been affected, with the Europe-wide extreme weather this year also having affected other major Christmas tree producers such as Germany and Denmark, from where Sweden imports some of its trees. Many small trees have also died, which increases the risk of a shortage of the trees in the future.

In turn, this is likely to lead to a hike in prices for Christmas trees over the coming years.

 

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