A farm at Christmas Common in Oxfordshire has been chosen as the venue for a national competition designed to find Downing Street’s 2014 Christmas tree.
The Tree Barn, at Christmas Common near Watlington in Oxfordshire, will see Christmas tree growers from around the UK bidding for the chance to present the tree which will take pride of place at the official residence of the Prime Minister this festive season.
Over 100 growers will take part in the national competition organised by the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association on Thursday 23rd October in Oxfordshire.
The event will see the hopeful contenders – who span in age from 18 to 80 – coming together to showcase their trees to expert growers, and be judged by fellow members.
Harry Brightwell, secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, said: “We view the competition as a chance to recognise what incredible year-round work goes into being a Christmas tree farmer. We wish all our finalists the very best of luck at the October contest.”
Each farmer, who will have spent around 10 years nurturing the tree to full ‘competition’ height, is able to enter categories including Best Nordman, Best Other Fir, Best Pine, Best Norway Spruce, Best Other Spruce, Best Container Grown, and Best Festive Wreath.
Finalists can submit only one tree into each category, and trees entered must be commercially cultivated and be 1.8 metres ( +/- 400mms) high from base to tip. Each will be judged for foliage, colour, shape and marketability.
Following the verdict from the prestigious competition day, the winning grower will supply Downing Street’s 20 ft Christmas tree, while the winner of the wreath category will create a wreath to hang at the front door of Number 10.
Farm owner, Andrew Ingram, who has been growing Christmas trees since 1971 said: “I am delighted as a winner of the competition in 2011 and 2013 to host this year’s competition.
“As a member of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, we work hard here at The Tree Barn to ensure our trees are exceptionally well cared for and developed to their full potential. This event is a real chance to show off what we do and to compare ourselves with the best in the country.”