Blackpool affected by national shortage of tall Christmas trees

Blackpool's Christmas trees could be shorter this year
Blackpool's Christmas trees could be shorter this year
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Residents might think Scrooge has got his hands on Blackpool's Christmas trees this festive season.

For some of the traditional spruces paid for by ward councillors around the town are set to be several feet shorter in height this year.

The tree on Dean Street in South Shore

The tree on Dean Street in South Shore

Town hall chiefs say the root of the problem lies with a national scarcity of taller trees.

Instead of the usual 25-foot tall pines, this year's trees are around 18-foot in height.

Waterloo ward councillors Derek Robertson and David O'Hara are among a number of councillors who have spent £1,590 per tree from their ward budget in order to bring seasonal cheer to residential neighbourhoods.

Coun Roberston said: "I noticed our tree at Holy Trinity church on Dean Street was a bit short so I reported it to the council.

"We paid for 25-foot trees like last year but they are only 18-foot. The council is now going around the area measuring all the trees and will be asking for a refund from the contractor if they are too short."

A spokesperson for Blackpool Council blamed the problem on a national shortage of tall Christmas trees.

They said: "The contractor has done their best to meet the order for 25-foot tall trees, but due to a national shortage these trees are not available.

"So they have sent the tallest trees they could and at least the trees have been put up and are there for people to enjoy."

The shortage is believed to be due to legislation to protect British woodland from the risk of pest infestations from imported plants, which has pushed up costs.

For the first time this year, Christmas trees more than three metres in height will require a Plant Passport to enter the UK.

Blackpool is not the only place to miss out on tall Christmas trees.

Each year Scottish Borders Council donates a 30-foot tall pine to every town in its area, but bosses have also been unable to source the regular trees meaning communities have been given 20-feet tall ones instead.