The UK’s tallest living Christmas tree is due for its big switch on next week.
The redwood, which is now 36.60m high, has been lit every year for the past 23 years to celebrate the festive season.
On November 19 a team of Wakehurst aboriculturalists, suspended from ropes and two cherry pickers, worked from dawn until dusk to put up more than 1,800 LED bulbs.
The lights will be switched on on Friday December 4, to mark the start of Wakehurst’s annual Glow Wild lantern festival. The workers also re-measured the tree to confirm that it is still the tallest in the country.
Wakehurst’s new director Tony Sweeney also took the opportunity to climb the tree.
“I’m delighted to be here at Wakehurst right near the top of up such a magnificent tree,” he said.
“The tree is approximately 120 years old and its new height measures 120 feet and ninety-four inches on average making it appear that it has grown a foot a year.
“In reality when the tree is young it grows more quickly and then slows down as it ages, but the new height shows the tree has great vitality and that it will continue to grow at an impressive rate for many more years to come!
“I’m looking forward to growing Wakehurst alongside it.”
The tree is one of Wakehurst’s great survivors, weathering the storm of 1987 and many other gales since, including the more recent gusty conditions associated with Storm Barney, which caused the lighting and re-measuring to be postponed.
Wakehurst staff say the attraction is so noticeable that it provides a beacon for planes coming into Gatwick Airport.
The lights will be on from December 4 for the start of the Glow Wild Lantern Festival. They will be on every day from 6am to 8am and from 3.30pm to midnight every afternoon, throughout the Christmas period until twelfth night.
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