Grand Place Christmas tree on the way to Brussels

Grand Place Christmas tree on the way to Brussels
The cutting of the spruce tree in Raeren which will be installed on Brussels' Grand Place as a Christmas tree. Credit: Belga

A large and majestic Christmas tree, set to become the focal point of the Grand Place in Brussels during the Plaisirs d’Hiver and the winter holidays, is currently on its way to the Belgian capital.

The tree was felled in Raeren, a German-speaking municipality in the province of Liège, on Wednesday.

The tree is scheduled to arrive on the Grand Place on Thursday at 06:00. The tree, a Nordmann fir (native to Turkey, Georgia, and the Caucasus) is around 40 metres high, and 40 years old. The tree has been provided to the city of Brussels by donor Max Kockartz.

“We bought the house a year ago. The tree in the garden was very tall. It blocked light from entering the house. For security reasons, we decided to have it cut down,” the owner explained.

The fir was coincidentally spotted by tree nurseryman Pierre Demesmaeke, who supplies large Christmas trees to Belgian cities and towns. “We have been active in the field of growing fir trees for four generations. During the year, I also criss-cross Belgium in order to identify large fir trees that could be suitable,” the nurseryman said.

According to Demesmaeke, Kockartz’s tree is perfect for the occasion, and for the grandeur of the Grand Place. The tree weighs a staggering five to six tonnes. “As it grew in a garden, it has a beautiful conical and very regular shape, no brown branches. It is perfect,” Demesmaeke glowed.

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Understandably, the owner of the tree is very proud to be able to give his garden decoration a second life, and to delight thousands of visitors during the Plaisirs d’Hiver.

“We will be there tomorrow morning for its arrival at the Grand Place, then we will return to the Plaisirs d’Hiver to see it decorated,” Kockartz said.

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