More than £27,000 was spent on the “rubbish” Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

More than £27,000 was spent on the “rubbish” Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square

The public subsidised the ‘gift' of the much-maligned centrepiece, which was chosen through a thorough selection process.

The expense includes exporting the enormous spruce from its origin country, which has refused to fund a replacement.
Westminster City Council (WCC) paid for the installation and illumination, according to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The 78ft fir was presented by the Oslo Mayor as part of an annual tradition to thank the UK for its aid during WWII.

WCC says it comes from a forest outside the city and is carefully chosen for its gift-ability.

The 1947 municipal tradition kicks off London's Christmas countdown.

While adorning the Column this year, some wondered if ‘even Norway dislikes us'.
Most people said it looked ‘flea-bitten' and “hungover”, with several asking “where is the rest of it?”.

‘Can't help but feel the decent people of Norway are trying to tell us something…'

‘Are we at war with Norway?'

‘Can also confirm the Trafalgar Square tree is awful,' wrote one visitor.

Another user stated the spruce is ‘an realistic depiction of the state of the UK'.

‘Nothing shouts global Britain like a half-dead tree,' said another.
Others flocked to social media to protect the tree, whose lights have been on since a December 2 ceremony.

‘So many harsh comments. Social media users may be vile. I think it's great that Norway is keeping this tradition alive. ‘Christmas in London without you!'

‘The @trafalgartree is tall, slim, and Norwegian. No need for a new one.'

It will save both parties money, as the WCC alone paid £27,306 for the original candidate.

‘The Christmas tree for London is provided by the Oslo Agency for Urban Environment (Bymiljetaten).

In a woodland outside Oslo, the tree demands good soil/site quality. The cultural landscape is effectively protected and preserved.' The tree must have equally spaced branches and be narrow enough to transport. The Agency of Urban Environment keeps a list of potential Christmas trees and treats them specially.

‘Trees bordering the selected candidates are removed to give optimum light and root conditions.

‘The trees are regularly fertilised to keep their green tint.

‘Even then, just 1 in 20 trees will be suitable to be London's next Christmas tree.'
A new fir was not proposed as a response to the criticisms.

The tree's official Twitter account defended its presence and symbolism.

Not only am I trending on twitter #Sleighingit, but the tree is a great reminder of a connection between nations that stretches back to the Second World War.

‘With all the debate over whether or not to stay (this spruce is here to stay!) We have all forgotten that I am a gift from #Oslo to #Britain for its help during WWII.'

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