The prestige of having a tree chosen to stand outside the Prime Ministers home at 10 Downing Street goes each year to the winner of the Christmas Tree Champion Grower of the Year competition.

This year it was awarded to York Christmas Trees following a competition where growers nominated their best tree for selection.

Organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), the annual competition has been running since 1999. This year the trees that were nominated were judged by the Yorkshire Shepherdess, Amanda Owen at the Yorkshire Show Ground.

York Christmas Trees are a family run business that have been operating for over 20 years and I went along on assignment for Getty Images to photograph the Downing Sreet tree, a 20 foot Nordmann Fir, being felled by owner Olly Combe.

Before the cutting I spent some time out in the tree plantation recording the process of cutting, netting and stacking the trees before they are distributed to wholesalers by lorry or individuals who can select their tree from the farm Christmas shop.

Christmas tree growers have adapted how they will sell to consumers this year to ensure everyone’s safety during the Covid-19 pandemic; introducing social distancing measures, sanitisers, one-way systems, payment by card only, so consumers can still enjoy the experience of choosing their own tree. 

Some growers have also introduced online orders and deliveries and click and collect services. Already, early orders for UK trees from garden centres and farm shops are significantly ahead of 2019 and this year’s sunny weather means Christmas trees are in the best condition possible.

Images (c) Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

See more of my work in my galleries & blog at Room 2850

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