Following a superb festive season selling all 26,000 of the trees it brought to market last year, preparations for Christmas 2023 are now in full swing at the historic Newburgh Priory Estate, near York.
Newburgh Priory diversified parts of the Estate for Christmas trees, shortly after Stephen Wombwell and his family took ownership of the Estate from his father retired in 2010.
Selling Christmas Trees below the tomb containing the alleged headless torso of Oliver Cromwell, which lies in the Newburgh Priory Estate attics, adds to the excitement – as Cromwell tried to ban Christmas.
Stephen Wombwell, the owner of Newburgh Priory, explained: “We were absolutely delighted last year to have enjoyed great sales, selling our entire stock of British grown Christmas trees. This has given us the confidence to harvest more than ever before - with 29,000 trees currently being readied for sale, through both the wholesale and retail market.
“Last year was an unsettling year for many, with the cost-of-living crisis, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the lingering effects of Covid and the continuing fall-out from Brexit. This year we are still in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, but we remain optimistic.
“For we believe that nearly everyone wants to continue to make memories and celebrate at Christmas as best they can – and at the heart of that festive family time is a real Christmas tree.
“Anecdotal evidence supports this readiness from families, to continue to want to celebrate despite the circumstances. Since the pandemic, we have had three record-breaking years however inevitably as a business, we have been hit by rising prices, with
Nevertheless, we are determined to make this Christmas equally successful and special. While we estimate our costs have risen by 20 per cent, we are happy to confirm that our retail prices will increase by less than five per cent.”
The Newburgh Estate has invested in new leading technology, in the form of machinery which cuts, packs and stacks the trees on-site in the fields to ensure a swifter, more sustainable and more efficient operation.
Sustainability is a key objective for The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), who believe there will be a higher demand for locally grown trees this year, not just because of the problem of importing trees from Europe, but because more and more people are putting sustainability at the fore of their spending so will inevitably support British trees grown close to their homes.
A spokesman from BCTGA urged:“Buy a tree from our member growers and you will be supporting a local business, many of which are independent family-run enterprises further supporting local employment and the wider economy.”
Newburgh Christmas Trees also supports local charities, hospices, churches, and schools by donating trees for the festive season.
Tips for getting the best of out your Christmas tree.
Ideally a tree should last for six-seven weeks if you:
- Choose fresh, well grown trees – it is worth spending a bit more as cheaper trees tend to be poorer quality and may have been cut weeks before.
- Cut an inch of the bottom when you first buy your tree or take it inside
- Only bring it inside when you are putting it up – otherwise stand it in a bucket of water
- Keep it well watered all the time (a tree can drink more than a litre a day)
- Avoid placing it near radiators, fires or on underfloor heating