The Tradition and Trade of Christmas Trees in the Czech Republic

As the festive season approaches, Christmas tree sales begin in earnest across the Czech Republic. From the start of December, residents in larger cities will find Christmas trees for sale on almost every corner, and some vendors start as early as November. Big box stores use vouchers to entice customers, offering part of the money spent on a tree as a discount on their next purchase.

Until recently, the tradition of cutting a Christmas tree directly from the forest was quite common, with surveys suggesting that one in five Czechs practiced this. However, this is considered theft, and the Forest Law imposes a fine of up to 15,000 crowns for such activity. Additionally, many forest managers treat endangered trees with a special coating that releases an unpleasant odor when warmed indoors, further discouraging this practice.

The question arises whether the spirit of Christmas is better fulfilled by a living tree in the forest, under which families can exchange gifts, instead of a cut tree at home. According to traders, the sentiment that a Christmas tree should live leads many families to opt for smaller trees in pots. For instance, at Bauhaus, such a spruce measuring up to a hundred centimeters costs 635 crowns, with slightly larger ones priced at 745 crowns.

Traditional trees such as spruces, pines, and popular firs also remain in demand. Trees up to a meter high can be purchased for three to four hundred crowns, with the most expensive being first, which stays green for a long time, even in a warm apartment. Four-meter-tall trees can cost up to four thousand crowns.

In conclusion, while Christmas trees are a beautiful tradition, it’s important to remember the impact of this practice on our forests. Consider supporting sustainable practices by purchasing a potted tree or a tree from a certified grower, ensuring a merry Christmas for both people and the environment.