Labour MEP for Ireland South Phil Prendergast is calling on people to think local when choosing their Christmas tree this year.
Ms Prendergast said: “Christmas is a time for celebrating but it can also be an opportunity to help our local communities by buying local grown trees and produce.”
“The Christmas tree market is worth around €15 million to Irish forestry owners and growers.
This year more than 700,000 trees will be harvested by around 100 growers in Ireland.
While the largest Christmas tree producers are in Wicklow, Wexford and Carlow, there are also growers in Tipperary and Kerry who could do with the business.
“In fact, there are business development opportunities in Christmas trees.
Ireland exports around half the trees produced here.
“The Irish climate and soil types are highly conducive to producing high-quality trees.
Around half the Christmas trees we grow will be sold in the UK, France and Germany.
Last year around four million Christmas trees were imported into the EU so there is clearly demand for trees and huge potential exists for Irish tree growers.
“The growing of Christmas trees is time consuming - it takes between seven and ten years for a tree to grow to two metres but clearly it is an area where Irish growers could be increasing their yields and growing profits.”