The official start to the Christmas tree selling season begins today in Vienna.
Across the capital there are 340 official Christmas tree selling locations selling trees imported from all over the country and despite a late frost damaging many trees – sellers have pledged to keep costs down.
Anybody looking to buy a Christmas tree is advised to make sure they get a good deal by first of all shaking the tree to make sure none of the needles fall off.
Karl Schuster from the Lower Austrian Christmas Tree Producers Association said: “People are also advised to scrape away a small piece of bark to make sure that the wood underneath is not dry, ensuring that the tree is fresh. And finally to stroke one of the branches from the middle of the tree outwards again to see whether needles fall off.”
If the tree passes that test, then you should be looking to pay between 10 and 35 euros per metre for a traditional Austrian “Nordmannstannen” tree, whereas a Blue Spruce is somewhat cheaper at between seven and 14 euros a metre.
The Spruce is cheaper because the needle coating is not as thick, and it doesn’t stay fresh as long, is prickly to transport and finally it also has a strong smell – which the traditional domestic trees do not have because of the thick wax coating over the needles.
Until the tree is put up it is recommended to store it in a cool place and ideally in water as a tree that has been allowed to soak water will stay fresh for longer.
The Christmas tree selling places in Vienna are open from 08.00 until 20.00 although slightly other rules apply for private Christmas tree sellers operating from car parks and other open spaces.