Going back to your roots: Minster urges locals to buy Christmas tree from Wicklow growers
Wicklow residents are being urged to buy a real Christmas Tree from a local grower this year by Minister Andrew Doyle.
The industry contributes €25m to the Wicklow and Irish economy with almost 650,000 trees harvested each year – 450,000 are sold at home and 200,000 exported mainly to the UK, France and Germany.
“A real tree provides a better Christmas experience in the home, is more environmentally friendly, has a lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree and people who buy an Irish tree are supporting jobs in rural Ireland. A real tree is the natural choice,” the Minster of State for Agriculture said as he he visited Wicklow Way Christmas Tree Farm run by the Kinlan family.
“The quality of Christmas trees produced in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years. This improvement is due to increased expertise being employed to manage and prepare trees for more discerning customers.
“The improvement has also been facilitated by my Department’s Scheme of Investment Aid for the Development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector and I encourage Christmas tree growers to consider applying for the 2020 Scheme.”
The Scheme assists growers who wish to make capital investments in specialised equipment to manage and harvest the crop.
Popular investments under the Scheme include specialised tree pruners, tree netters and palletisers which protect quality and allow for efficient transport.
The Scheme is now open and details of the scheme can be found here or from Horticulture and Plant Health Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Administration Building, Backweston Campus, Young’s Cross, Celbridge, Co. Kildare, W23 X3PH Tel: 01 5058886.
The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2020 scheme is 17 January 2020.
Photo: Seamus Kinlan and Andrew Doyle, Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture. Pic: Chris Bellew