This year’s tree was found in Tammialho in Masku, on the residential plot of Antti Koivisto. Koivisto had been thinking about donating the tree since moving to the area and collecting several kilos of fir cones over several years. However, the tree still needed to grow to a respectable height before finally becoming the number one Christmas tree in Finland this year.
Turku Cathedral’s Christmas tree is 24 metres tall and has a trunk diameter of 90 cm. The age of the tree has been calculated at 65 years, and it weighs approximately 6,300 kilograms. The tree’s crown is a whopping 10 metres in diameter.
This year’s tree meets the strict criteria set for the cathedral’s Christmas tree. It is under 26 metres tall, has regular and dense branches and boasts a deep, dark green colour. The honour of choosing the Christmas tree of the year from among the many candidates is borne by Site Manager Timo Kajava from Kuntec Oy. In addition to choosing the tree, Kajava’s team is also responsible for felling the tree, transporting it to Cathedral Square and erecting it. The tree’s lighting is provided by Destia Oy.
- The tree is quite wide compared to the last few trees from previous years. The branches will need to be bunched up closer to the trunk so that the tree can be loaded up and transported intact to the cathedral, says Kajava, who has been handling the felling, transportation and erection of the Christmas tree for the last ten years.
The Masku Christmas tree’s journey to Turku Cathedral
This year’s Christmas tree hails from the same neighbourhood as last year’s, so the route to the cathedral is familiar. The site is accessible enough that a crane truck is able to drive close enough to the tree to load it up onto a loader lorry. Luckily the route to the cathedral does not have any sharp turns, low-hanging power lines or other obstacles.
The tree will arrive at the cathedral with a police escort and the assistance of traffic controllers via the following route: Highway 8 – Ohikulkutie – Hämeen Valtatie – Hämeentie – Hämeenkatu – Akatemiankatu.
Lights to stay on throughout Christmas
Two discs will be sawn off the base of the tree, one of which will be given to the donor of the tree while other will be kept by the City of Turku. After this, the tree’s branches will be adorned with a total of 721 LED lights. The lights will be turned on on the First Sunday of Advent (29 November) and stay on all the way to St Knut's Day (13 January).
After Christmas, the tree will be returned to its donor in pieces. Antti Koivisto has already thought of a use for the Christmas tree.
- The fir tree has dominated all four plots in our block, so I wanted to donate some firewood to the neighbours. I think there will also be enough wood left over to donate to the students of Turku Vocational Institute or the workers’ institute, for example, Koivisto says about his plans.
The City of Turku arranges for a Christmas tree to be displayed in front of Turku Cathedral every year. The first time that the Cathedral Square was illuminated by a Christmas tree was in 1900, and the tree became an annual tradition in the 1930s.