About 10,000 Christmas trees were taken from the state forest 04.01
The tradition of taking spruces from one’s own forest is still kept alive. Over the past holidays, 9,700 Christmas trees were taken from the state forest.
According to the general forester Andres Sepp, searching for the suitable Christmas tree by RMK mobile app is simple and offers the joy of discovery. “The Christmas weather was like in the movies this year and all the people who went to the state forest for a Christmas tree, had a special white experience. While going to the forest with family and friends before and during the holidays, it is possible to take time for longer walks and realise that Estonian forests are doing well,” said Sepp. “Getting a Christmas tree from the forest is a nice tradition and RMK will certainly offer the opportunity to get a Christmas tree from the state forest next Christmas as well.”
The opportunity to take a Christmas tree began at the beginning of December and the first Christmas trees already found their home then. But more than half of the spruces were taken a week before Christmas and during the snowy holidays. Spruces with a length of 1-2 metres were mostly collected, which represented more than half of the Christmas trees bought this year. Mobile payments were used for more than 80% of the spruces.
Each year, RMK provides Christmas trees as a gift to substitute homes across Estonia. This year about 50 spruces were provided for the substitute homes by the employees working at RMK.
Taking a Christmas tree from the state forest is based on trust; however, visitors to the forest are checked on by the Environmental Inspectorate and employees of RMK. According to Leili Tuul, PR Advisor for the Environmental Inspectorate, the inspectors of the Environmental Inspectorate did not detect any violations when performing their inspection visits in the forest this December.
The Christmas tree is traditionally taken down on the 6th of January, on Epiphany. In order for every spruce to be correctly disposed of after being a home decoration, bigger cities organise collection places for the Christmas trees where people can give away their spruces for free.
RMK has been providing the option of being able to get one’s own Christmas tree from the state forest since 2008. Last year, about 10,000 spruces were also taken home from the state forest. Christmas trees may only be cut down when they stand no chance of growing to maturity: along the edges of roads and ditches, under overhead power lines and under old forest. Finding the right spruce spots and paying for the Christmas tree is made easier via the map on RMK’s website and the updated RMK mobile app. The mobile app shows the state forest areas, enables to detect your spot and pay for a suitable Christmas tree.
RMK or the State Forest Management Centre takes care of around 30% of the total land area of Estonia, where 45% of Estonian forests are located. RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of the forest and other natural biotic communities belonging to the Estonian state. RMK cultivates forests, preserves ecological assets, earns income for the state by managing the forest, creates opportunities for visiting nature, and provides nature education.