The sale of the Christmas trees will start again on a large scale on Saturday. This means they are a week earlier than in previous years. Sinterklaas is no longer surprised. He has long been accustomed to the idea of celebrating his birthday under the Christmas tree. The trees are a bit more expensive this year.
Wholesaler Kees Poppelaars in Breda has his hands full. Trucks drive to and from his company’s grounds in Beemden in The Hague to deliver Nordmann spruces to garden centers in the Netherlands and Belgium. “I no longer count them, but they must be somewhere between 120,000 and 150,000,” says Poppelaars.
He gets his trees for the most part from Denmark. “We are working on it all year round. It starts for us in June when we select the suitable fields in Denmark. The Dutch like to have a somewhat narrower tree. Unlike the French, for example, who often opt for thicker ones.”
“We used to only start after Sinterklaas.”
According to Kees, we have to take into account ‘slightly higher prices’ for the Christmas trees. Because of the high transport costs, the ornamental spruces are about five to ten percent more expensive than last year in most places.
The trend to bring a Christmas tree into your home earlier and earlier is also continuing. “We used to only start after Sinterklaas, but that time is long gone. To avoid the big peak, our customers are now ordering earlier than in previous years. We can therefore spread the crowds better. Fortunately, this is possible with these trees.”
“If people want to be environmentally conscious, they shouldn’t buy artificial trees.”
The Nordmann spruces are grown in Denmark without artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Within ten to twelve years they are about two meters high. Like all trees, the spruces in the fields convert the harmful greenhouse gas CO2 into oxygen. Kees Poppelaars believes that real trees are therefore better for the environment than artificial trees.
“If people want to be environmentally conscious, they should absolutely stop buying artificial trees. Artificial trees are made of plastic. They are brought here from China on polluting ships. Real trees, after they have been kept indoors by people, are burned as biomass. For every tree felled, an average of 2.5 trees are planted back. And with that the circle is complete. Because where does the plastic end up? In the ocean?”