Christmas time is the time of miracles, family traditions, special lights and smells. And, of course, one cannot do without a Christmas tree. It may be purchased in a fair or bought in a pot in JSC "Latvia's State Forests" (LVM) nurseries. This way it will grow for many more years. Also this year, people in Latvia have an opportunity to go to forests managed by LVM and get a Christmas tree themselves; such opportunity is given also in other parts of Europe.
A bunch of needles in a pot
Many families have chosen a new tradition: instead of going to the forest armed with a saw to cut a fir-tree, preference is given to a Christmas tree growing in a pot, which in spring can be replanted and cherished in the backyard garden. In the coming years, all you have to do is get new, hand-made natural decorations, and there will be no other just as beautiful and special tree anywhere else in the whole wide world.
In "LVM Sēklas un stādi" (LVM Seeds and Plants) nurseries there is a wide range of fir-trees in pots: a small pyramid, a nest, a tree with a peculiar sparse crown with a plenty of space for ornaments or, for example, a Christmas tree with a dense crown, which may be decorated with finer and smaller ornaments.
Heading to the forest to get a Christmas tree
If, however, you choose snow drifts and search of a Christmas tree in the forest, you should go to a forest managed by LVM, where it is permitted to cut one fir-tree. Not to harm the forest, some preconditions as to where, how and what fir-tree should be cut must be observed.
"To make sure that you are in a state forest, our mobile app LVM Forest Map (LVM Meža karte) and www.mammadabakarte.lv can be used. Fir-trees that may be cut for Christmas grow along roads and around ditches, on firebreaks, under power lines or beneath large trees in mature forests, but certainly not in young stands or young mixed forests, since there trees have been specially planted and tended to grow a future forest," says Mārtiņš Gūtmanis, LVM Silviculture Director.
A fir-tree may be felled free of charge only in forests managed by LVM. It is forbidden in public nature parks and specially protected natural areas, which are marked by an oak leaf image on a green background. One should also make sure that a trail has not taken them to a private forest.
When going to the forest, it should be kept in mind that the tree stump diameter should be less than 12 centimetres, which usually corresponds to a two- to three-metre-tall spruce.
LVM forest boundaries may be identified by the yellow signs on the roadside; the entire boundary is marked with yellow stripes on the tree trunks. Also plates with inscription AS "Latvijas valsts meži" (JSC "Latvia's State Forests") on the intersections of firebreaks confirm that you are in a state forest.
Those who this year you would like to decorate their Christmas trees with eco decorations are kindly invited to visit the Christmas shop at LVM central office at 1 Vaiņodes Street. The shop will be open until the turn of the year, offering eco balls for decorating the Christmas tree made by employees of LVM nurseries and Kalsnava Arboretum, as well as Advent wreaths and many other decorations that will reveal the beauty of nature and create the special Christmas mood. Here you will also find the green coniferous trees in pots. Until the turn of the year, the shop will be open on weekdays from 9 to18; on Saturday, 3 December the Christmas shop will work just like on weekdays - especially for dwarfs who are busy on weekdays doing other things.