The traditional giant Christmas tree that is at the centre of Brussels Christmas festivities every year will be erected on the capital’s main square on Thursday at 6:30 AM.
This year, Paul Vierendeels, a resident from the municipality of Dilbeek – just a 25-minute drive from Brussels’ city centre – offered an 18-metre tall spruce to the city, which was planted 25 years ago in the front yard by the previous residents.
The spruce had become too big for the garden itself, which is why Vierendeels – a regular visitor to the city’s Christmas festivities – decided it was time to cut the tree down. Rather than chopping it and getting rid of it, he decided to donate it to the tree, he told VRT News.
On Thursday morning, the tree will be placed on the square, where the traditional lifelike nativity scene is usually set up every year.
The tree’s close proximity to Brussels makes this year’s traditional decoration more ecologically friendly as the tree won’t have to be transported as far as in previous years. In 2014, for example, Brussels was gifted a spruce from Riga, which required transporting the tree almost 2,000 kilometres.
To balance the ecological footprint incurred by cutting down the tree and transporting it to the city’s central square, ten new pines will be planted, city authorities said.
Last year’s tree, an 18-metre-high Nordmann, was given to the city from the garden of the Hôtel de la Chaumière du Lac in Robertville, in the High Fens natural reserve, east of Liège.
The Christmas tree itself, as well as its erection on Thursday, can be seen on an online webcam.