As featured by PEFC International
Christmas is nearly here and Christmas trees are lighting up city centres, spreading seasonal splendour. Once again, several European cities have chosen PEFC-certified Christmas trees – for a sustainable celebration.

“It is wonderful to see that so many prominent places have chosen Christmas trees from sustainably managed, PEFC-certified forests,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International.

“This decision sends an important sign that we can enjoy the Christmas trees while at the same time safeguarding our forests.”

One of the certified Christmas trees can be found in London, where the festive season kicked off in sustainable and Covid-restricted style with the lighting of the iconic Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree.

The traditional annual gift from Norway to the UK is the 74th in the series of trees donated by Oslo to London. Oslo has sent a tree to London every year since 1947 as token of gratitude, celebration and commemoration of Britain’s support during World War II when the Norwegian government and royal family lived in exile in London from 1940 to 1945 during Norway’s occupation.

The annual gift of a Christmas tree has come to symbolise the deep and long-lasting friendship between the two countries.

The 80-year-old, 23-metre-tall Norwegian spruce was sourced from a PEFC-certified forest in Maridalen, Oslo. Weighing about two tonnes, it was transported to London by road and sea. This year, in the light of Covid-19 restrictions, the spruce was felled in secret, to prevent the usual crowds of people showing up to witness the annual ceremony.

Sustainable festive splendour has also come to the Austrian parliament. PEFC Austria handed over the four-metre-high fir tree to the National Council Presidents.

The tree brings a breath of ‘Silent Night’ to the parliament, as it comes from a PEFC-certified forest in Arnsdorf, Salzburg – the place where the famous Christmas carol ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ was composed.

Also German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a sustainable Christmas tree from a PEFC-certified forest. The 70-year-old red spruce that decorates the Federal Chancellery comes from Hesse and was donated by the Hessian Forest Owners Association and Hubertus Roeder V. Diersburg.

Responsible Wood is the National Governing Body for PEFC Australia. To find out more about Responsible Wood and forest certification more generally please visit the Responsible Wood website.

Photo credits: Parlamentsdirektion/Thomas Topf