THE tree that will stand outside Number 10, Downing Street this year has been felled in York and is ready for the journey south.

As previously reported by The Press, York based Champion Christmas tree grower Oliver Combe has chosen the tree that will stand outside 10, Downing Street during the festive period, the first time a tree from the North of England will be seen in one of the most iconic settings in Britain.

Oliver, who runs York Christmas Trees in Wiggington with wife Kirstie, felled the 20 ft tall Nordmann fir yesterday in preparation for its journey to London where it was be placed outside the Prime Minister’s residence.

Oliver earned the right to supply the tree by winning the title of Champion Christmas Grower of the Year with a tree chosen by 12-year-old Joe Combe, who was present to watch the tree being felled.

Joe said: “It is really exciting that a tree that has been growing on our farm for over 20 years will be outside the Prime Minister’s house. I hope I get a day off school to see the tree in Downing Street.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is looking forward to the arrival of the tree and said: "We’re delighted that York Christmas Trees will be providing the Downing Street tree this year which I hope will be enjoyed by many.

"These beautiful trees and wreaths are the first step to bringing us some festive cheer in what has ultimately been a very challenging year for us all.”

York Christmas Trees is a family run business that has been supplying home grown trees for more than 25 years at their Wigginton Christmas Barn Shop that also features decorations, tree stands and handmade wreaths.

The annual British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) competition has been running since 1999 and its the first time a winner has been crowned from the north of England. Oliver said: “We are a small family run Christmas tree business based on a farm just outside York and to be given the chance to deliver the tree for Downing Street is incredible and a great reward for all the hard work that our team puts in throughout the year.

“We are very proud to be supplying the first tree from the North of England to stand outside 10 Downing Street.”

York Christmas Trees opens on Thursday after the Government confirmed they had changed lockdown rules which do not apply to farms and shops that sell Christmas trees. “ The Government’s decision is very welcome and we are all trying to make Christmas as “ normal” as possible at this difficult time:” added Oliver.” We are extremely grateful to York City Council for all their help and support to ensure we are a Covid safe environment.”

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association competition was judged for the first time by celebrities as due to Covid19 restrictions all the growers could not get together as usual. Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen, star of Channel 5’s ‘Our Yorkshire Farm' joined Peter Wright from Channel 5’s ‘The Yorkshire Vet’ were special judges alongside head judge Stuart Kirkup of Dartmoor Christmas Trees, in Devon, who won last year.