British ambassador to Norway defends Trafalgar Square’s ‘sad’ Norwegian spruce

Britain’s ambassador to Norway has hit back at critics who called a Norwegian Christmas tree put up in London’s Trafalgar Square “sparse” and “anaemic”.

British ambassador to Norway defends Trafalgar Square's 'sad' Norwegian spruce
Photos: AFP

British Ambassador to Norway Richard Wood has responded to criticism directed at the traditional Norwegian spruce that’s been installed every Christmas in Trafalgar Square for the past 72 years.

Dubbed “Britain's most famous Christmas tree”, some online commentators have labelled this year’s spruce as “droopy”, “sad”, “sparse” and “the most anaemic tree possible” due to its lack of foliage.

The 21-metre tree is a gift from Norway to London and marks a tradition that goes back to 1947.

The negative comments haven’t gone down well with others, including the appropriately named ambassador Richard Wood.

“This is what 90-year-old, 25m trees in the wild look like,” he wrote.

“It is important to consider the symbolism of the tree rather than simply how many branches it has.”

The first Norwegian-sourced Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree was a thank you gift from King Haakon VII after he was forced to flee Norway and seek sanctuary in Britain following the Nazis’s invasion of Norway.

It’s believed the spruce was planted in 1929 in a forest near a small lake in Norway called Trollvann, which means “the water of the trolls” in Norwegian.

This inspired the account managers of the tree's official Twitter account to write “I thought I'd left them in Norway”, in reference to the online “trolls” mocking this year’s spruce.

Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen (L) and Ruth Bush, Councillor of London's Westminster district sawing down the tree.

This year’s spruce was felled on 19th November at a ceremony attended by Oslo's and Westminster’s mayors before it was shipped to England.

“It’s a generous gift from the people of Oslo to London,” Westmister Council said.

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