Hillier Christmas Trees from Seed to Stand

Your Christmas tree has been safely loaded into your car, made its way to your home, been un-netted, watered and now is in pride of place. This is the final stop in a journey that began many years previously, when seeds were planted on dedicated land in the UK by our specialist Christmas tree growers.

Christmas trees from Hillier Garden Centres are UK grown and all of our suppliers are approved members of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA). This local provenance means your Christmas tree’s journey has reduced ‘green miles’. BCTGA membership also requires growers to adhere to a Code of Practice, to ensure trees are grown in a sound environmental and sustainable manner.

A Specialist Crop

It is a common misconception that Christmas trees are chopped down from forests, but this is not the case. They are a specifically grown crop, with each tree maturing for 3-4 years before being harvested. Growers operate good field rotation management – i.e. they will harvest from one field, while another is used for trees for the next year, another for the next 2 years and on.

Starting from seed, all seed used Starting from seed, all seed used for the cultivation of British Christmas trees must be selected from sustainable sources that do not present any threat to endangered species. Our Christmas tree growers are very conscious of any impact to the surrounding area from the land used for the cultivation of trees. It will have been subject to a survey on environmental, ecological or archaeological impact.

Considerable tender loving care goes into the fertilisation, shaping and pruning of trees by the grower to keep them healthy. Cultivation is always done in accordance with the best practice research. For example, Christmas trees provide an excellent habitat for many bird species. Growers take account of this, avoiding disturbing nests or young birds. Christmas trees are cut in winter, which has minimal effect on breeding or young birds.

Premium Grade Trees

At Hillier, we always inspect the trees at our suppliers in person to make sure we are happy with the quality. Christmas trees can be selected at different quality ‘grades’. We only purchase premium grade trees for sale in our Garden Centres. Premium quality means they are the best in terms of being healthy, with glossy, fat needles. They exhibit good bushiness, a nice shape and strong growth from base to tip.

Hillier Horticultural Buyer Adam Dorber inspects Nordmann Firs in Scotland

Christmas trees destined for Hillier Garden Centres are cut just prior to delivery. We do not allow our trees to be cut earlier and put into cold storage, this way they are fresher – and the fresher they are, the longer they last.

Your Christmas tree should last through to the New Year with minimum needle drop. Our growers cut our Christmas trees while netted to protect them and to keep the branches going the right way. They are put on pallets on delivery trucks and taken to Hillier Garden Centres. Within 24-48 hours, they will be taken out of the nets and placed onto stands so they can be shown at their best. They are now ready for you to come and choose your perfect tree, take it home and proudly display throughout the festive season.

Discover our full range of UK grown real Christmas trees here