Can you buy a real Christmas tree in lockdown?

Farm manager Andrew Hunt, with some of the taller Nordmann firs at Norfolk Christmas Trees, based at

Farm manager Andrew Hunt, with some of the taller Nordmann firs at Norfolk Christmas Trees, based at Great Melton Farms. This photo was taken before Covid. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant

Christmas tree growers in Norfolk are keeping their fingers crossed they will be able to open in the shutdown.

Christmas trees at Salle Farm. Pic: Anglia Aerial Images

Christmas trees at Salle Farm. Pic: Anglia Aerial Images - Credit: Archant

Firms selling trees direct to the public are hoping they will be classed as garden centres and be able to open before December 2.

But such are the worries of people wanting to start the festivities early, some farms have already sold Christmas trees for homes in Norfolk.

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Nordmann fir Christmas trees are harvested by machine then laid out to be collected for the shop at

Nordmann fir Christmas trees are harvested by machine then laid out to be collected for the shop at Norfolk Christmas Trees at Great Melton. This photo was taken last year, before Covid. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Archant

It is understood that prime minister Boris Johnson has indicated that as long as centres are actually growing the trees, they are classed as a garden nursery, able to open for business. Most farms selling Christmas trees weren’t planning to open until the end of the month anyway – but fear if lockdown lasts longer than December 2, it could be a problem. They have been gearing up for a big rush this year.

As a result of Covid, farms are not offering pop-up shops with decorations, but just the trees meaning the entire buying and selling can take place outdoors.

Wholesale supplies of Christmas trees can go ahead but the confusion arises when businesses sell direct.

Christmas trees at Salle Farm. Pic: Anglia Aerial Images

Christmas trees at Salle Farm. Pic: Anglia Aerial Images - Credit: Archant


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Tom Barwick, manager of the Salle Farm, near Reepham, told this newspaper: “We are waiting for clarification as to whether we can open on November 28 as planned. If you are a grower and a supplier, we understand you are classed as a garden centre and would be able to open in lockdown. We have decided not to stock any local Christmas crafts nor food items so that it will be 100pc outside. We will be asking people to wear masks. If you can go to a supermarket and a garden centre, surely this is even safer?

“I can’t see Boris Johnson not allowing people to buy a Christmas tree.”

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Andrew Hunt, manager of Norfolk Christmas Trees based at Hall Farm, Great Melton, near Norwich, said the current advice from the Christmas Tree Growers Association was that they would be classed as a garden centre and allowed to sell during lockdown.

He too plans to open on November 28. “If lockdown ends on December 2, we would only have to wait a couple of days but there has been such a demand, I’ve never had so much interest.

Trees for sale at Norfolk Christmas Trees, Great Melton. Pic: Norfolk Christmas Trees

Trees for sale at Norfolk Christmas Trees, Great Melton. Pic: Norfolk Christmas Trees - Credit: Archant

“I’ve had people phone me up wanting to buy a Christmas tree already, it’s the cheer we all need right now. I have advised people that a real Christmas tree may not last until Christmas Day if bought now but people just want to have a little bit of joy in their lives.”

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