A 40ft pine tree which will stand at the foot of Big Ben has been felled as part of an annual Christmas tradition that has been taking place for over 20 years.
The 40-year-old Sitka spruce was selected from among the 150 million trees in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, ready for its journey to London where it will take its place in one of Westminster's most prominent positions.
Beat forester Richard Cooper, of Forestry England, said: "So many people from all over the world will see it lit up and I’m really proud to see something from our corner of Northumberland take pride of place.
"I fell and plant a lot of trees every year but this is always the most special – it’s got to be perfect. It’s not just about how good it looks in the forest, it’s a real skill to bring it down safely and transport it all the way to London without causing any damage."
Kielder supplies around 180 trees every Christmas for civic spaces, including to Ipswich, Sheffield and Stockton-on-Tees. It ensures the future supply of large trees by planting seedlings every year.
"It’ll be someone else’s job to choose the 2063 tree," added Mr Cooper, "but there’s something very special about planting a sapling with such a unique future ahead of it.”
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