Last year's harsh frost could mean a Europe-wide shortage of the continent's most popular Christmas tree


Last year's harsh frost could mean a Europe wide shortage of popular Christmas tree, the Nordmann Fir. Experts predict that demand across Europe will outstrip supply by around 70 million trees. The shortage in trees is reflected by the export statistics - on average Denmark and Norway export around one million Nordmann Firs to Britain each year, but according to a statement by Roger Hay of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association this year that could drop to as low as 200,000 trees.

The tree is a favorite due to its conical shape and the fact that is does not shed its needles; according to Kaj Østergaard of the Danish Christmas Tree Growers Association the Nordmann Fir accounts for 85 percent of Christmas trees in Austria and Denmark, 70 percent in Germany, 55 percent in France, 50 percent in the UK and Norway, and around 40 percent in Sweden and Poland.

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association fears that the low supply of and high demand for Nordmann Firs could lead retailers to substantially increase their prices. Around eight million Christmas trees were sold in the UK in 2010, an increase of two million from 2000.

Despite the rising cost of Nordmann Firs, a variety of other Christmas tree options is available. Tree Species provides information about the different types of Christmas trees available, as does US organization the National Christmas Tree Association. If the shortage of Christmas trees gets too severe, or shoppers want something a little more permanent, a variety of artificial Christmas trees are also available to buy online from and other local retailers.