Comment | Christmas is just over half a year away, and Rainer Johansson is already finishing the Christmas trees of the people of Helsinki on his farm

Is the very last moments to prepare for Christmas.

Christmas trees to be grown are shaped with pruning shears in spring and winter, but with Rainer Johansson there was little work left for May.

“After that, the annual calendar moves to plantings,” he says. “Then there is fertilization and weed control.”

At the end of the summer, the fir trees that are going on sale for Christmas this year will be cut into shape for the second time.

“Then comes the harvest, so to speak.”

Johansson sold his harvest last Christmas at Senatintor, in Espoo the standard place is in Leppävaara.

He has been selling spruces since 1987. The first spruces in the late 1980s were forest spruces and tops, but such can no longer be brought for sale.

“Or you can, but you can’t get rid of them.”

Nowadays Johansson grows Christmas trees in the fields on his home farm near Fiskars. When the fir tree has grown to about a meter in length, it is cut for the first time. After that, it is shaped with pruning shears every year. This has its own business, because Johansson has tens of thousands of spruces growing, and the growing time in southern Finland is typically eight to ten years.

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During Johansson’s career, the Christmas tree has changed a lot.

“Really wild”, he confirms.

First of all, fewer spruces over two meters are sold these days. Johansson thinks that people who buy Christmas trees now live more cramped than before.

Secondly, the pressure on the appearance of Christmas trees has increased. Naturalness is not fashionable. The fir must be of a certain type.

“Thick and even, like a Donald Duck spruce. Then it’s easy to sell.”

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