Oh Christmas tree: Even in the forest-poorest district of Bavaria you can buy locally grown Christmas trees or even saw them yourself.
If you are still looking, you have a choice.
– This year we are celebrating the longest Advent imaginable – but this too has come to an end.
The festival is slowly but surely approaching and with it the desire for the perfect Christmas tree.
Even in the sparsely forested district of Erding, sellers with their own breeders have something to counter the offers from discounters and hawkers.
We asked around and found plantations where customers can choose fresh trees and sometimes use the saw themselves.
Regional Christmas trees from Erding
"In terms of price, regionally grown trees are of course not comparable to a supermarket tree," says Rainer Mehringer, chairman of the forest owners' association in Erding.
But not in terms of quality and freshness either, he adds.
"We don't want to face this competition at all," says Mehringer.
On average, buyers pay around 20 euros per meter for a freshly felled tree.
However, specimens that are less perfectly grown can also be had for less.
Business is slow this year, perhaps because of the five-week Advent, local breeders note.
Looking at the past few years, however, interest in native trees has grown noticeably - as has the range of products, of which the Nordmann fir is still the most popular.
Ten types of Christmas trees and puzzle stations in Steinkirchen
Michael Ehrl has planted no fewer than ten different varieties - from blue spruce to balsam fir to Colorado fir - on his three-hectare plantation in Steinkirchen, which he cultivates without fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
"There are varieties that smell much more intensely than the Nordmann fir, which is well-known everywhere," explains the semi-retired administration manager, who has been building up the Christmas tree business as a part-time job for 15 years.
"We have a lot of regular customers who particularly value our advice," he says.
In December his whole family lends a hand.
The sales booth is located in the middle of the plantation.
“Customers can look around and look for the tree they want, which we then cut straight down,” explains Ehrl.
You can even cut down a tree yourself with him.
The whole experience of buying a Christmas tree "should be grouchy," says Ehrl.
Customers will not only find their Christmas tree here, but also an information trail with nine stations and riddles for children.
And after the purchase, mulled wine and punch are served.
Trips with the Bulldog through the plantation in Taufkirchen
A visit to the Fischer Christmas tree sale in Hainöd, municipality of Taufkirchen, is also good for a family outing.
Here the customers can choose to go out to the plantation and their tree this Saturday.
The children can do a lap on the loading area of the little bulldog.
On all other days of the week they sell at the farm across the street.
Fischer's trees are special: on the two-hectare plantation, the family keeps special sheep that eat the grass - and with their droppings they provide natural fertilizer.
Organic quality from the net to the stand in oak loam
Angela Döllel runs her Christmas tree nursery in Eicherloh "all-round sustainable", she explains.
Even the nets made from cornstarch, cotton and the Christmas tree stands are made from recycled bottles.
Of course, the trees could be "not as cheap as at Aldi".
But: "People come to me who value organic quality, they buy their food in the farm shop and their Christmas tree from me," says Döllel, whose main job is an office worker and grows the fir trees on the side.
Even the not quite perfect tree finds buyers there.
"A family, for example, is looking for a pair with two tips every year because they can't agree on a piece of jewelry," she says with a smile.
Customers are also allowed to cut down their trees themselves.
"Especially families with small children like to do this."
Christmas trees cut or still in the root ball in Hofstarring
"The trend is towards sustainability," agrees Bernhard Brenninger, who runs the organic tree nursery of the same name in Hofstarring with his family.
He offers naturally grown trees on Steinkirchner Flur - freshly felled or in the root ball on request.
With proper care, the latter can be used as a Christmas tree for up to five years.
A suitable model costs comparatively more, but for his customers "the ecological idea is in the foreground," says Brenninger.
Doellel Christmas trees: Ismaninger Str. 27, Eicherloh, until December 24, Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Christmas Eve 10 a.m. to 12 p.m
Organic tree nursery Brenninger: Hofstarring 2, Steinkirchen, until December 23, Wednesday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday to Friday 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m., www.baumschule-brenninger.de
Ehrl Christmas tree: Am Holz 4, Steinkirchen, until December 23, Fridays to Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., www.christbaum-ehrl.de
Fischer Christmas tree sales: Hainöd 2, Taufkirchen, daily until December 23, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tel. 0176-60982133
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