Where’s your farm based in Denmark?
Bjergeskovgård is situated in Svendborg, which is about two hours away from Copenhagen. The farm has been in the family for generations and I inherited it from my father. We have more than 30 hectares of Christmas trees.
Talk us through the plant to harvest process.
Fir tree seeds that are available in Denmark are mainly sourced from Georgia. These are first planted in greenhouses for three years and it’s only after this that I buy the saplings, which I then transplant. I usually plant around 15,000 new trees each Spring (in May), but this year I planted 30,000. On average, it takes seven years for the trees to grow – bigger trees can take up to ten years.
How involved are you in the process?
I have a team who monitor the entire production process – which includes constant shaping. I personally mark each tree that is suitable for export, to ensure its size and quality. I used to go out and work in the fields, but I am getting older – and it’s tough work!
What sustainable practices do you employ?
We follow strict EU guidelines for sustainable plant production, we avoid using chemicals and we use organic fertilizer.
What makes the perfect tree?
It has to be symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing with a nice top. Its branches must be strong, and not sag. This can be a big problem because of the birds, which try to nest inside the trees in Spring! They cause the branches to break or hang out of shape. In terms of height anything from 1.75m – 2.25m is a good size.
What happens after you harvest the trees?
After they’ve been cut, the trees need to lie on the ground for two days to prevent them “going into shock”. After this, we wrap them, pack them in a pallet and they’re picked up in batches before being shipped to the UAE. This year we’ve cultivated more than 1,700 trees for Spinneys.
Order your Christmas tree at Spinneys. Speak to a member of staff in store or download the form and print off at home.