South West Wales

Downing Street Christmas tree makes Gower farmer proud

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Media captionRob Morgan likened the achievement to "winning supreme champion" at the Royal Welsh Show

A fir tree grown on Gower has been unveiled as one of 10 Downing Street's two official Christmas trees.

Farmer Rob Morgan from Three Crosses won the competition to provide the tree - a Nordman fir - for the pillared state dining room.

His family have been in sheep and cattle farming for five generations and started planting trees in 1996.

"It's like winning supreme champion at the Royal Welsh Show", said Mr Morgan.

The Gower farmer was runner-up from around 300 entrants in the British Christmas Tree Growers Association competition in October.

'Nurtured'

Mr Morgan told BBC Wales he was "immensely proud" to be chosen and was looking forward to meeting Prime Minister David Cameron at the unveiling of the 12ft (3.6m) tree inside 10 Downing Street on Monday.

"I'm a fifth generation farmer here - these fields have produced livestock over the years," he said.

"I changed the trend of the farm to plant Christmas trees - I hope I'll have made my all my forefathers proud by creating something like this in a different business."

Mr Morgan said he now had around 320,000 trees but was a much smaller operation than many of his rivals, who would have had millions of trees to choose from.

He said success in producing a prize-winning tree was down to "shape and height, all in proportion, a fairly natural look" - and taking good care of them over a growing period of at least ten years.

"Every tree is nurtured from a seedling ... you can't just plant a tree and watch it grow," he added.

How to spot the perfect Christmas tree

  • A natural shape
  • Dense foliage
  • Well sheared
  • A rich green colour
  • Not too wide, too tall or too thin
  • No stalks sticking out

Source: British Christmas Tree Growers Association

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