Trafalgar Square's Christmas tree is cut down in Norway

. Credit: ITV News/Martin Stew

What's 50 years old, 60 foot tall, Norwegian and a fundamental part of Christmas in London? Answer the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree.

Every year since 1946 the Norwegians have gifted a magnificent spruce pine from the forests surrounding Oslo as a thank you to Britain for our support during the Second World War. Between 1940 and 1945 Norway was occupied by the Nazis.

Their Royal Family and their resistance leaders made a home in London and with British support undermined the German efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Martin Stew in Norway Credit: ITV News/Martin Stew

Today I've been invited to go along and see the traditional tree cutting ceremony. The selected spruce (known as the "Queen of the Forrest") was ear marked 15 years ago to be the 2013 tree tree. It's 50 years old and 20 metres tall.

Schoolchildren singing as the tree is cut down Credit: ITV News/Martin Stew

To give the ceremony a festive one hundred children for nearby primary schools have been invited along to sing carols and entertain dignitaries including the Mayor of Westminster.

The remaining stump of the tree Credit: ITV News/Martin Stew

The tree will now travel 700 miles by lorry and boat to Trafalgar Square. It should arrive in London on the 2nd of December ready for the Trafalgar Square switch on on Thursday the 5th.