Christmas tree market set to deliver €21m seasonal boost
Work is underway to harvest 550,000 Christmas trees worth €21m to the economy, as the festive season fast approaches.
Around 80 growers are expected to sell 350,000 on the Irish markets, with a further 200,000 exported to countries including the UK, German and France.
It can take up to 10-years to deliver the perfect Christmas tree, explained Dermot Page, the chair of the Christmas Tree Growers Association.
"As growing conditions have been good this year, trees are displaying particularly good colour, so we're expecting a very good crop for 2015," he said.
This year the growers are appealing to people to buy an Irish tree and support growers here by picking a tree with a 'Love A Real Tree' label.
James O'Toole from Fairwood Christmas Trees in Carnew, Co Wicklow, explains growing the trees is a very "labour intensive" job.
"They are a 12 month a year job. There is pruning and weed control - every month of the year there is a job to do," he said.
"It is a big business in Ireland and it gives a lot of employment to people."