Sunday, 24 October 2021

Farm hosts competition to find PM’s Christmas tree

Farm hosts competition to find PM’s Christmas tree

A FARMER from Christmas Common is to host this year’s competition to find the Prime Minister’s Christmas tree.

Andrew Ingram, who runs the Tree Barn, is also entering the contest, which is organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers Association and he has won three times in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Growers from all over the country will gather at the Tree Barn on Wednesday as the judges select one of their trees to stand outside No 10 Downing Street.

The annual competition has been running since 1999 and is usually hosted by the previous year’s winner but this was not possible this time due to their lack of space, so Mr Ingram was asked if he would step in instead. He said: “We are very pleased to be hosting it. We have a good location for it and a lot of space for the display.  All the best trees in the country will be on display in the main barn.

“The winner will have the privilege of supplying the tree to the Prime Minister but there are all sorts of different categories and other trees are supplied for the inside of No 10 and No 11.

“We have won the competition three times and this will be the second time we have entered since we last won in 2015.

“Then I knew we had a fantastic tree but the competition will be hard this year. The quality of the trees is exceptionally high and they are all beautifully manicured and perfect. You need to have an extraordinary tree to win.

“We have two or three which are very good this year but I’m not confident we will win.”

Other categories in the competition include festive wreath champion, which will provide the wreath for the front door of 10 Downing Street, while the winner of the best short film will provide a Christmas tree for the Foreign Office.

Mr Ingram, who has been growing trees for 50 years, added: “Last year we came first in the spruce category so we might win one of the other categories.

“But it’s not just about the competition, it’s the biggest gathering of growers and an opportunity to meet other people who are passionate about growing Christmas trees.

“We have the opportunity to show how we grow our trees and all the techniques we use. It’s the biggest get-together we have every year.”

The Tree Barn, which last hosted the competition in 2019, supplies hotels and offices in Henley and London and colleges at the University of Oxford.

It also provides the Nordmann fir that is erected in Henley market place each year.

Mr Ingram’s wife Jane is responsible for their Christmas shop, which will re-open on October 30. It stocks a wife range of tree decorations. Tree sales will commence on November 20.

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