Lifestyle Christmas Trees

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There’s a huge range of options when it comes to choosing the best tree to rock around this Christmas, but help is at hand as Niki Boyle picks through the pine needles to find the best ones, from Scotland’s forests and country estates to sustainably-farmed Nordmann Firs

GLASGOW AND SURROUNDING AREA Caring Christmas Trees (various outlets, 0845 111 8733, has outlets for their sustainably-farmed Nordmann Firs in various locations around the country, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Paisley, Livingston and Fife. The ‘caring’ part of the title comes from the charities benefiting from the sale of trees: Glasgow’s Impact Arts charity helps vulnerable youngsters, Paisley’s Accord hospice helps patients with chronic illnesses, while Bethany homeless shelters around the country receive a share of the profits for trees sold in their area. Prices range from £24 to £55 for trees measuring 4 to 8ft in height; delivery is available for an extra fee. See website for more details of charities and collection points in your area.


If you’d rather get your hands dirty, Finlaystone Country Estate (Langbank, Renfrewshire, 01475 540505, www.finlay letting visitors come in and tag the tree they’d like from Sat 20 Nov, then come back later to chop it down themselves. All trees are of the very traditional Norway Spruce variety; any under 6ft will cost £17.50, while trees measuring 10ft and over will cost £30. The tree chopping is being presented as part of a wider programme of family-friendly Christmas gift stalls and a Santa’s Grotto will be situated on the grounds, with ready-prepared trees, wreaths and firewood are also up for sale, and there’s a Wassailing walk through the woods on Sun 19 Dec, complete with carol-singing, hot fruit punch and mince pies. Local tree delivery can be arranged at extra cost. festive events:


Dobbies Garden World (Melville Nursery, Lasswade, 0131 663 1941, has both real and fake tree options: their range of artificial and fibre optic trees come in a variety of styles and sizes, with sizes available from 2 to 15ft, and prices 28 THE LIST 2–16 Dec 2010

ranging from £19.99 to £299 (or up to £750 for a more luxurious model). Their real trees are generally between 4 and 7ft in height, and cost from £44.99 to £79.99. Dobbies are also giving away a free Norway Spruce seedling with every purchase of a real tree, so customers can grow future Christmas foliage of their

own. Green Fir Christmas Trees (07545 489669, www.edinburghchristmastrees .com) are based in Edinburgh city centre, and deliver without charge to most areas throughout the city. The trees used are the ever-popular Nordmann Firs (which have a good reputation for dropping fewer needles), with sizes ranging from 5 to 12ft for households or 25ft for businesses, priced between £30 and £250. The Forestry Commission in Scotland has a number of outlets for tree buying around the country, including one at the erstwhile mountain biking mecca Glentress Forest (Tweed Valley, near Peebles, 01387 860247, xmas). From Sat 4 Dec, visitors can purchase anything a £10 3ft Lodgepole Pine to a massive 19ft Normann Fir for £252. There are no delivery options available, but you can pick up Christmas wreaths and firewood from

while you’re there.


Pines and

Needles (0845 458 2788,

www.pinesand is a


website that delivers trees all over the UK; luckily, their sustainable farm supplier is based in Perth, so next day delivery to Glasgow or Edinburgh costs only £12.95. The trees range from small tabletop varieties to 7ft models, with prices between £19.95 and £55.95. Decorations, lights, stands, wreaths and garlands are also available. Real Christmas Trees (0845 604 8366, www.real sells firs and spruces from 3-60ft in height. Prices for trees between 10-20ft range from £40-£350, and include free delivery; anything larger is subject to a fee. A selection of wreaths, mistletoe, holly and lights is also on offer. Blooming Artificial (08452 571871, www.blooming sells you guessed it artificial trees, for those who don’t want to mess about with pine needles. Trees are available from 4 to 8ft at a cost of £59.99 to £199, with free nationwide delivery.