Trees a growing success

The Fasque Christmas Tree Partnership near Laurencekirk (Picture SWNS)

The Fasque Christmas Tree Partnership near Laurencekirk (Picture SWNS)

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A Scots Christmas tree business in Laurencekirk is a growing success which now has more than a million of the festive favourites in its fields.

The Fasque Christmas Tree Partnership near Lawrencekirk, was founded in 2002 by the Fasque estate and five Danish investors.

Since then it has expanded every year and now plants around 100,000 new pines and firs annually for the expanding UK market in real festive trees.

One of the partners, Soren Petersen, 65, originally from “the home of Christmas trees” Denmark, said that the UK market was very different to the one in his native land.

He added: “The Christmas tree market in Denmark is enormous- they have many growers and export all around markets like Northern Europe, Germany and France.

“It is far smaller in Scotland and we personally only sell trees to customers in Britain and Ireland.

“But it is certainly growing, we now have around 85 solid clients and are gaining about four or five new ones each year.

“The biggest difference between the countries is that British people want trees of a much higher quality than they do on the continent.

“So while they might be more expensive they grow very well in Scotland and produce beautiful colours that you don’t get so much with the Danish trees.”

Throughout the year, only six people keep the trees - which take seven or eight years to reach maturity - in check.

But in November about 30 labourers are roped in for the harvest.

Soren moved to the UK 22 years ago, setting himself up with a farm in Scotland.

But in 2002 he realised that more money could be made from Christmas trees rather than crops and helped set up the partnership.

He says that, since he moved, the change in the market has been ‘tree-mendous’.

He said: “The way the market has changed in Scotland is quite dramatic.

‘‘Just 20 years ago people here didn’t even know what a real Christmas tree was.

“When we put it to the estate they were very happy with the plan. I think they could see the potential for growth.

“It has just kept growing and our orders increase every year.

“The profit from Christmas trees compared to crop farming is quite high but you only get any money back after seven years.

“The weather in Scotland is very good for them as long as the summer isn’t too wet.”

And although Soren is miles from home he insists he isn’t ‘pining’ for Denmark.

He said: “My family are there but I only go back about once every two years.

“Scotland is so beautiful and I love all the countryside activities I can do.

“This is my home now.”