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Timberrrrr: Eight things we learned chopping down Covent Garden's Christmas tree

Rosie Percy

It's that time of year again where London's streets run red with mulled wine, and sparkle with the light of the stars we can't see beneath the smog. Yep, it's (almost) Christmas. 

As our city breaks out the baubles and fills squares and shopfronts with festive foliage, our inner elf was itching to join in. So we did what came naturally: chopped down Covent Garden's Christmas tree. Y'know, no big deal.

Here's what we learned on the journey to bring one of the most impressive (and Instagrammed) Christmas trees to London.

Not all trees come from Norway

Norway gifts a tree to Trafalgar Square every Christmas as a thank you to London for the help we gave them during the Second World War. But Covent Garden's tree comes from somewhere a little closer to home – Solihull in the West Midlands.

They're not just for Christmas

Don't you hate it when you need a Christmas tree in the middle of June? No? Then try working on a TV set. Filming doesn't always work around the seasons, so Wood Farm have to supply spruces all year round – they even provided a Christmas tree for 'Downton Abbey'.

It takes THIRTY YEARS to get to Covent Garden

Well, to grow it anyway. It takes three decades of TLC for a tree like the one in Covent Garden to reach its full size before it can be felled. Talk about patience.

How many men it takes to chop down a Christmas tree

Not the start of a bad Dad joke, but an equation we learned the answer to. Apparently it's four. And a fucking massive digger.


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It's bloody tall

Yeah, the tree's big. We're talking BIG big. At fifty feet tall, it's three Routemaster buses stacked on top of each other, making it one of the biggest Christmas trees in London.

70 people decorate it...

All hands on deck (the halls) – it takes a team of 700 people to decorate the tree and the surrounding streets in Covent Garden.

...with a LOT of baubles

The Shard of Christmas trees is covered in 20,000 lights, 200 silver orbs and one very special red Time Out bauble. Stand to the left of the tree and look up to spot it.


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You've got a better chance of snogging someone in Covent Garden

This year's theme is 'Meet Me Under The Mistletoe', meaning the market and streets of Covent Garden around the tree will be decorated with 45 giant, glowing bunches of the stuff so you've got loads of opportunities for a festive smooch.

For now, we'll lay down our lumberjack axe and leave the tree chopping to the experts. Until next year, anyway.

In other festive news, did you hear that you can now get gin-filled baubles for your Christmas tree?


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