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'Buy Irish trees this Christmas'

IRISH consumers have been urged to ensure they are buying home-grown Christmas trees this year.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee (right) said that if everyone makes the change to Irish companies, consumers will be supporting an industry with great long-term potential.

The Christmas tree market is worth €15m to Irish forestry owners and farmers and trees are grown mainly in counties Wicklow, Wexford and Carlow but also in Kerry, Tipperary, Roscommon and Dublin.

Between now and Christmas approximately 100 growers will harvest 700,000 trees for sale but about 300,000 of those will be exported, mainly to Britain and France.