Week­end days out 10 best places to buy a Christ­mas tree in Scot­land

The Herald Magazine - - 12 - ALEX BURNS

1. KILTED CHRIST­MAS TREE, BALADO

BRACE your­selves, Christ­mas is com­ing. As if you didn’t know: the John Lewis ad­vert is out, twinkly lights have been hoisted up in shop­ping cen­tres and sales of Brus­sels sprouts are soar­ing. The Scrooges among us will in­evitably want to avoid the C-word for as long as pos­si­ble, but for those who want to get in the fes­tive spirit, real Christ­mas trees are the way to do it. They might be messier than their ar­ti­fi­cial coun­ter­parts but the smell of fresh pine nee­dles just can’t be beaten. Here’s where to get yours.

Til­ly­ochie Farm, Balado, Kin­ross 01577 865 500 Open ev­ery day from Novem­ber 30, 9am-7pm

It might be best known as the for­mer site of the T in the Park fes­ti­val, but the Kin­ross vil­lage of Balado also has an im­pres­sive Christ­mas tree farm. The Kilted Christ­mas Tree Com­pany is a fam­ily busi­ness that has been grow­ing trees for more than a decade, with the own­ers tak­ing pride in car­ing and har­vest­ing their trees to the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dard. The com­pany has a range of Nor­way spruce, Nord­mann fir, Fraser fir and blue spruce real trees, as well as ar­ti­fi­cial trees and a col­lec­tion of fresh fir wreaths. And, if you opt for the ar­ti­fi­cial tree but still want the sense of a real one, it also of­fers Scentsi­cles scented or­na­ments: fir-fra­grance sticks that can be hung on Christ­mas trees or dot­ted around your home.

www.kilt­ed­christ­mas­tree.co.uk

2. IKEA Stores in Glas­gow (99 Kings Inch Drive), Ed­in­burgh (Costkea Way, Loan­head) and an or­der and col­lec­tion point in Aberdeen (Welling­ton Cir­cle, Aberdeen)

Open Mon­day-Fri­day 10am-9pm and Satur­day and Sun­day 10am-7pm (Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh) and Mon­day-Fri­day 9.30am-8pm and Satur­day and Sun­day 10am-6pm (Aberdeen)

020 3645 0000

The gar­gan­tuan ware­house of an Ikea store doesn’t ex­actly scream “authen­tic Christ­mas” but the chain of­fers an ex­cel­lent deal on Christ­mas trees. If you buy its £25 Nord­mann fir tree be­tween Novem­ber 22 and De­cem­ber 24, you get a £20 voucher which can then be re­deemed in store be­tween Jan­uary 14 and March 3, 2019. In essence, you there­fore get a lo­cally sourced, authen­tic tree for a very rea­son­able £5. It also of­fers an ar­ray of rea­son­ably priced dec­o­ra­tions and even a 21-inch ar­ti­fi­cial tree for those short on space.

www.ikea.com/gb/en

3. CRIMBO TREES, ED­IN­BURGH Open from De­cem­ber 1, Mon­day-Wed­nes­day 12pm-6pm, Thurs­day-Satur­day,10am-8pm and Sun­day 10am-6pm

Crimbo Trees spe­cialises in grow­ing Nord­mann firs, a glossy dark green tree that takes up to 10 years to grow to the ideal height of 7ft. Its trees are grown in Scot­land and sold from the Jen­ners De­pos­i­tory in Ed­in­burgh – al­though those liv­ing in the EH1, EH2, EH3,

EH4, EH11 and EH12 can get their trees de­liv­ered to their door. In a scheme that re­ally cap­tures the Christ­mas spirit, the firm also do­nates £5 from ev­ery tree that they sell to Mag­gie’s can­cer cen­tre in Ed­in­burgh, with last year’s sales en­abling them to donate the equiv­a­lent of more than one day’s run­ning costs to the cen­tre. And, if you are con­cerned about the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of your tree, its web­site of­fers de­tailed ad­vice on how to re­cy­cle a tree and put the waste to good use.

www.crim­botrees.co.uk

4. BUCHLYVIE CHRIST­MAS TREE FARM Christ­mas Tree Farm, Wester Auchen­troig, Buchlyvie, Stir­ling 07710579752 Open ev­ery day from De­cem­ber 1, 9am-5pm

The star at­trac­tion at the Buchlyvie farm is its cut-your-own-tree ser­vice, where you are given the chance to roam their 300-acre farm to choose the one that is per­fect for you and then saw it down. On ar­rival you are given a pair of thick work gloves, a saw and a small square of car­pet to kneel on, but it is a work­ing farm so wear­ing welly boots and prac­ti­cal cloth­ing is es­sen­tial. The trees – which in­clude Nord­mann firs,

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