1. ITV Report

Christmas tree shortage due to pests and disease

Harvesting the trees is a four day process. Credit: ITV News Central / Jane Hesketh

The demand for large Christmas trees has gone up this year, whilst the supply has gone down.

Pests and disease are the main culprit for fewer large trees (those over 20 to 30 feet high) being available.

These are the sort of large centrepiece trees your see in shopping centres and for council buildings.

Christmas trees being harvested at Friezeland Farm. Credit: ITV News Central

Christmas tree farmer Toby Ryley runs Friezeland Farm in Market Bosworth in Leicestershire.

He says having to destroy trees that have been growing on the farm for over 30 years, because they're diseased is heartbreaking:

Toby typically harvests and sells between 15 and 20 thousand trees in the run up to Christmas, and will replant more than double the following year.

However, they always make sure that land is ploughed back into use and the stock replenished.