By Toby Holloway
Cardiff’s Castle’s Christmas tree controversy took a new turn last week, as a Cardiff-based tree surgeon company offered to install a giant, 20ft tree in front of the castle gates.
The proposal came after a small number of the 113,000 people that attended Cardiff Council’s Step Into Christmas event made complaints over the fact that there was no Christmas tree on show.
There were various criticisms of the lights switch on on social media. On Twitter, Trevor Keane (@tkeane20) said: “Are fir trees so rare here that we have to import from China? And at what expense? Probably be added to the credit card bill!!”
Another Twitter user, @Ztephanie, said: “shipped from China! Disgraceful! There are many Christmas tree farms in Wales. Buy from, support, local growers!”
The lack of foliage was the result of the incoming tree – a 40 metre high artificial structure sourced from China through UK-based company MK Illuminations- having not arrived in the Welsh capital on time for the switching on of the lights.
Now, Cardiff tree surgeon group Tree Control have penned a letter to Cardiff Council, offering to install an entirely natural tree for free, outside the castle. Speaking to Wales Online, co-director of Tree Control, Amanda Anderson, said: “In the economic times we are in, to go outside Britain to get a tree is a bit of a poke in the eye.
“An artificial tree is also not in keeping with the prestigious environment they will be putting it in front of.”
Mrs Anderson added: “I am sure there are many businesses in Cardiff which would have gladly contributed towards sponsoring a British tree.
“The cost of a real tree bought in Wales would be fractional compared to the cost the council is going to incur by importing a 40-metre structure.”
The artificial tree-like structure is set to arrive in Cardiff next week, and will be unveiled on the 25th of November.