HErr and Mrs. Winkler have come from the Lower Rhine to the Sauerland region to cut down their Christmas tree, a Nordmann fir, around one meter seventy high, the top maybe a little skinny, but otherwise it has grown nicely dense and bushy all around. Together with the tree – packed in a net and clamped between the car seats – they will set off to their holiday home on the North Sea before the party, because up there, says Linda Winkler, the Christmas tree situation is a disaster. Flat land, no forest, cows instead of fir trees and just before the holidays everything is sold out anyway. But here: Sauerland, wintry snow-covered mountains and endless Christmas trees.
No scent, but no spikes either
The cultivation area covers eighteen thousand hectares. “Auf der Steh” alone, a hill above Bestwig, where private logging is about to begin, there are thirty-five thousand trees to choose from, protected from deer browsing behind large-meshed wire fences, planted in rows, tall as a man and at the best age of eleven or twelve years. They are all Nordmann firs. A few blue spruces are growing off to the side, which don’t do so well because they shed needles quickly. But the Nordmann fir will keep its green dress until Candlemas. Unfortunately, it lacks something decidedly Christmassy that distinguishes even the gackiest spruce: it has little or no scent. On the other hand, unlike the spruce, it is not as prickly.
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