Yorkshire’s largest Christmas tree grower predicts Brexit-sales boost

Christmas trees at Stockeld Park, Spofforth. Picture: Steve Riding
Christmas trees at Stockeld Park, Spofforth. Picture: Steve Riding

Stockeld Park, Yorkshire’s largest Christmas tree grower, is launching a home delivery service as it looks towards a buoyant festive sales season helped by the Brexit effect curtailing foreign tree imports and the growing demand for buying local.

The estate near Wetherby, which counts Bettys tearooms, Emmerdale and the set of the hit TV series Victoria within its customer base for Christmas trees, is offering to save people living within the Harrogate-York-Leeds triangle the task of hauling their purchased tree back home by delivering to their door.

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The home delivery service will coincide with the opening of the Christmas Shop at Stockeld Park on November 28 when visitors can enjoy a glass of mulled wine while choosing their tree, and will continue until December 23.

The estate grows around half a million Christmas trees of which 35,000 will be sold this year after a good growing season helped by the milder, wetter summer and with a potential sales boost in the offing as a result of the Brexit-effect.

George Grant, Stockeld’s estate manager explains: “The depreciation of Sterling against the Euro could benefit us by reducing the quantity of foreign imported trees into the British market. While the vast majority of our trees are sold in the UK we’ve also had enquiries this year from Puerto Rico and Sweden!

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“More people are keen to buy a locally-grown tree but they need to be aware that not all trees are equal as some may well have been cut quite a few weeks before they’re sold. It therefore pays to buy freshly cut ones.”

The majority of the Christmas trees at Stockeld, which has been growing them for over a century, are Nordmann firs. During the growing period which can take up to nine years, each tree is individually handled involving labour intensive tasks such as side cutting to ensure the trees don’t get too wide.

As George explains: “It’s a myth that we simply plant a tree and watch it grow. There’s a lot of cultivation work that goes on and our management of the trees also has to reflect things like room trends. For instance as wider flat screen televisions have become the norm in homes, there’s less living room space for the Christmas tree which is why we put so much time into side-cutting.”

For more information on Stockeld Park’s Christmas trees and the festive events go to www.stockeldpark.co.uk
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