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Danish Christmas trees from Germany to Hong Kong

In Denmark, there are many different traditions associated with Christmas – many of the involving Christmas trees and greenery.

In Denmark, an estimated 1.6 million out of 2.5 million households have a Christmas tree when they celebrate Christmas Eve. Thus, both trees and greenery have found their way into Danish homes.

Many Danes either buy their trees at Christmas markets during December or drive out to plantations where they select and cut down their own. Then the tree is decorated with ornaments, candies, candles and a star at the top.

Danish trees and greenery in the world

You probably knew that Denmark is the world’s largest exporter of Christmas trees. But did you also know that we are the world’s third largest producer?

Danish Christmas trees are big hits, not only at home, but also abroad, where only the United States of America and Germany produce more trees. Today, there are more than 100 million Christmas trees in the Danish plantations and forests of 24,000 hectares.

From East to West

Germany is the largest importer of Danish Christmas trees and greenery. The country purchases a total of 45% of Danish exports of Christmas trees.

This is followed by France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Norway, Belgium and Switzerland, which together purchase close to 50% of the Danish Christmas trees. Among the more exotic export markets you will find Morocco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.

With a turnaround time of 8 to 10 years, the supply of Christmas trees varies from year to year. However, in 2020, Denmark exported 10.1 million Christmas trees which is a small decline compared to 2019. In recent years, exports have been pressured by increased own production in the export markets.

Export value

In 2020, Denmark exported Christmas trees and greenery for a total of just over DKK 0.9 billion. Exports were increasing from the beginning of production in the mid-eighties until 2012. From here, the export value has been declining due to increasing own production in the most important export markets and falling tree prices.

With a small increase in the exported amount and better prices of greenery, the export value increased slightly in 2018 and 2019 but have not been able to reach the 2012-level.

The first Danish Christmas tree

It was Countess Wilhelmine Holstein who lit candles in the first Danish Christmas tree at Holsteinborg Estate in 1808. The tradition of the Christmas tree had come to Denmark from Germany.

At Holsteinborg, a beautiful spruce in the forest was found and taken home. It was then decorated with candles as well as cut paper. On Christmas Eve 1808, Denmark’s first Christmas tree was therefore lit – and no one then dreamed of how widespread this custom would later become both in and outside the country.

Source: Danske Juletræer