Kerala has shown the way on how to celebrate Christmas naturally, completely doing away with plastic and artificial Christmas trees. Yes, Araucaria trees grown by the Kerala Agricultural Department are selling like hotcakes from different nurseries of the department in the state. The agriculture department decided to grow Araucaria plants of the pine family for the Christmas season to encourage people to completely do away with plastic and other types of artificial trees.
Assistant Director Lisymol J Vadukkoot of the State Seed Farm situated at Desom in Aluva said there has been a tremendous response from people to buy Araucaria trees to use as Christmas trees. “The idea to grow Araucaria trees for Christmas struck Minister P Prasad when he visited Kuwait last December. Although different varieties of trees like Golden Cypress and Thuja were suggested, the department decided to go with Araucaria trees,” she said, adding that the scheme to grow the trees was implemented last year, focusing on selling them during this Christmas. “It’s not a common tree. We sourced the seeds after conducting a detailed market search,” she added.
The department also made pots for the trees with a Christmas-themed design and colour. According to the details, Araucaria trees are grown only in a few seed farms though there are 31 seed farms in Kerala under the department. The department charges Rs 300 for an Araucaria plant that is two feet high and Rs 400 for trees above that height. “A lot of people are visiting the farm to buy the Araucaria plant. We are running out of stock,” she added.
All these plants sold by the farm are eight months old, and they can be grown in pots for up to two years. “If planted in the ground, it can be used to prepare a Christmas tree for the coming years,” she added