The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Is On Its Way To London

The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Is On Its Way To London
Image: Shutterstock

We already know when the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lights will be switched on, but many people don't think of the lighting as the culmination of a long journey.

The tree comes from Oslo each year, a gift from the Norwegian people in a tradition dating back to 1947. That much is common knowledge. But how does a 24-metre (79ft) Spruce get from Norwegian forests to urban London for the holiday season?

How is the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree chosen?

Photo: @trafalgartree

It's not simply a case of heading into the forest with an axe and swinging it at the first tree that takes your fancy. Certain trees are identified as Trafalgar Square material years in advance, and given special care to help them reach their Christmas potential

How does the Trafalgar Square tree get from Oslo to London?

Once felled — itself a whole ceremony involving Lord Mayor of Westminster, the Mayor of Oslo, and a lot of carol-singing Norwegian children — the Trafalgar Square tree makes a beeline for London. It's loaded onto a lorry and driven 100km+ south from Oslo to the port of Brevik, where it's moved onto a ship (avoiding any contact with salt water, which could damage it) and sets sail to the port of Harwich.

From there, it's another lorry ride to central London, where a waiting team uses a hydraulic crane to winch it into place in the Square. The same team hangs those lights which split Londoners every year, but before you mock them, bear in mind that they're a nod to the Norwegian way of decorating a tree.

Anyway, if you're eagerly awaiting the arrival of the central London arboreal delight, we've got excellent news for you: the tree is on its way, ready for its lighting ceremony of 5 December.

Follow the tree on Twitter (a sentence we never tire of typing) for further updates on its journey — unless of course, seasickness kicks in.

Last Updated 21 November 2019

Continued below.