Christmas trees on sale at Bristol Zoo Gardens

There is something special about a real Christmas tree. But how do you know the best sort to buy?

One man who does know is Martin Harrisson of Frenchay Forestry who is currently running Clifton Trees in the west car park of Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Harry, as he is known to everyone, is literally surrounded by Christmas trees and knows the types and styles of them all.

He has been selling them every Christmas in the Zoo’s car park off College Road for the past five years and he has a book full of regular customers.

Some of the trees have been brought from Scotland, Ireland and even Norway, while others are transported just a few miles from the Mendips.

“It really is an international business,” he said.

He has four types of trees for sale ranging in height from three feet to 20 feet. They are:

Nordmann Fir

>span class=""s1"">Harry’s verdict:

They are virtually indestructrable and their foliage is soft.

Fraser Fir:

It has a grey-green foliage which is soft and smells of citrus and satsumas.

Harry’s verdict:

Their scent is fantastic. Some people buy them for the scent alone.

Noble Fir:

>span class=""s1"">Harry’s verdict:

This is the tree I will be taking home. They smell like the woods.

Norway Spruce:

>span class=""s1"">It tends to drop its needles and they are sharper than fir trees.

Harry’s verdict:

These are lovely trees and we still sell around 100 of these each year.

Between now and the Monday before Christmas, Harry and his team of up to six people will sell around 1,500 trees, many of which they will deliver.

>span class=""s1"">“Lots of people come in with their children and have a really good Christmas tree choosing experience. People can take up to 40 minutes to make their choice but we are always happy to help them,” said Harry.

When they take the tree home, Harry has some simple practical advice for keeping it in good condition.

  • Firstly, saw about two inches off the foot of the trunk
  • If possible, leave the tree outside in a bucket of water over night
  • Then ensure you keep the trees stand topped up with water

Harry said if people follow these steps then the trees should last over Christmas and the New Year.

As for prices, Nordmann Firs, Noble Firs andn Frazer Firs cost £8 per foot and Norway Spruce cost £6 per foot.

Opening times for Christmas tree sales are:

Monday to Friday 9.30am to 7.30pm

Saturdays 8.30am to 6.00pm

Sundays 10.00am to 4.00pm


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