Organic and Fair Trade Trees
Magic of Foresters are delighted to be the first, and only, sellers of Organic and Fair Trade Trees in the UK.
It’s worth turning up early for this as we only have 200 of these beautiful trees for sale. Once they are gone… well, it’s another years wait.
Non-organic trees are sprayed in nasty pesticides, herbicides such as glyphosate, and hormone inhibitors to stop the top of the trees (called leaders) growing too long. To put it mildly these are not chemicals you want to touch, let alone bring into your home. Christmas is family occasion, and we want it to be a safe one too.
Magic of Foresters organic trees are so good you can literally eat them! And people do - they are used in everything from beers, jams, snaps, teas, roast dinners, salads and even ice creams. Take a cutting and try for yourself…
Just like we need good diversity of bacteria in our gut to be healthy, a nursery also needs a natural balance. Chemicals don't discriminate, wiping out the whole natural biodiversity including ladybirds, wasps and, crucially, bees. Ironically, these act as natural predators to the aphids which attack the trees, making our trees more vulnerable.
At Magic of Foresters we back onto untouched virgin woodlands, and retain this wood in the middle of our nursery, with our oak trees over 150 years old. We also have an abundance of hedgerows and wild areas. We even have the River Ravensbourne, which later joins the Thames, flowing through our little nursery.
Using chemicals makes it quicker and cheaper to grow trees, but both the quality of the trees and the environment is affected. By avoiding chemicals we also stop the groundwater being polluted - most of these harmful toxins are not able to be filtered about by standard water filters or the tap water system. There is increasing evidence that these chemicals are working its way into the human food chain.
At Magic of Foresters we plant at least one organic tree for every tree we sell. We also only sell a maximum of 10% of our trees each year to ensure the on-going success of the trees. Furthermore, by purchasing organically we also guarantee the sustainability of the original 100 year old natural forests in Georgia.
At Magic of Foresters, it’s not just trees we believe in, but people too.
Most of the popular Christmas trees, Norman Fir are sourced from seeds in Georgia. However, unknown to the public, sadly much of this is done by unsafe working conditions involving child labour in really unsafe methods - climbing high trees to find the cones. Fair Trees, a Danish company, guarantees that all cones are gathered safely by adults with the proper safety equipment and educated cone pickers. They also guaranteed all workers are paid a fair wage, and take care to provide the pickers and their families with a whole year health insurance.
At Magic of Foresters, we further commit to paying everyone who works with us in the UK fairly wage, well above both the minimum wage and living wage.
Our organic journey
As you’ve probably guessed, we are super passionate about natural living, ecology and well-being. However, becoming the first people in the UK to sell organic trees hasn't been easy. When we first expressed our desire to grow organically, all the experts in the UK told us we were crazy, and that no-one did it. So much so, that they told us to give up now if we wanted to even attempt it. But, we didn't listen. We kept persevering, doing our best whilst speaking to experts in other field until finally in November 2018 we met Lars and Marianne from Fair Trees in Denmark. We flew out to meet them - and we were in tree heaven! Not only did they introduce the Organic and Fair Trade movement in Denmark, but Denmark is the strictest country in the world for organic standards. They guided us as to how to do this with the best growing methods, and opened an exciting new chapter for us.
In November, we planted our first 850 Fair Organic seedlings (little trees) and have just started the process to get our whole nursery certified organic, having stopped even the small chemical use we had 3 years ago when Alan retired. In meantime, we personally selected the 180 of the finest organic fair trade trees to come to the UK to make up the stop gap. These are being cut as late in the season as possible - only available from the 23rd November - to keep them as fresh (many non-organic trees are cut in late October/early November, leading to significant needle drop when they get in your home).