Mayor cuts down Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree in Oslo
70 year old tree felling tradition dates back to the Second World War
24 November, 2017 — By Tom Foot
Norway still thanking Britain for Second World War help seventy years later
THE Lord Mayor of Westminster flew to Norway to chop down a Christmas tree for Trafalgar Square – in a tradition stretching back 70 years.
Cllr Ian Adams met Oslo’s mayor, Marianne Borgen, for the tree-felling ceremony (pictured above) in the city.
The 70-year-old tree, which is 21 metres high, will be transported to Westminster and lit up at a ceremony on December 7.
The council said this year ’s tree-chopping was a “significant anniversary of the tradition where Norway gives a gift to the people of Britain in honour of their help and support during the Second World War”.
The first tree was donated in 1947.
History books say that during the war Norway’s King Haakon VII escaped to England as the Germans invaded his country in 1940.
The British government set up a radio news broadcast service in Norwegian which beamed crucial messages to the resistance movement in Norway.
The council said the Trafalgar Square tree had to have “good soil” and “evenly set branches” and overall be “cone-shaped”. In Norway the tree has been growing in a special open space allowing the roots to spread. Only one in 20 trees grown in Oslo is judged suitable to be the next Christmas tree in London.
The tree is winched by crane onto a lorry trailer and taken to the harbour in Brevik and it is transported across the North Sea to Immingham on the Humber estuary before being brought to London.
Oslo’s agency for urban environment (Bymiljøetaten) is responsible for providing the Christmas tree to London.