Most spruces were bought from the state forest by way of payment with mobile phone 20.01

At the end of last year, the State Forest Management Centre (RMK) sold almost 5000 Christmas trees, of which 4500 were sold to private persons. For the first time, it was possible to pay for the trees with a mobile phone; more than half of the spruces were bought using this opportunity. Joint spruce trips across Estonia were made by 2100 people.

In addition, the free spruce trips offered by RMK were attended by more than 150 orphanage children from eleven orphanages, for whom the guided spruce trip was a great experience. The children, together with instructors, collected 54 Christmas trees from the state forest. 

“As expected, the number of people cutting their own Christmas trees from the forest remained on the same level with last year. What turned out to be a pleasant surprise was the popularity of paying for the trees with a mobile phone, thanks to which the number of trees brought from the forest independently increased considerably,” said Marge Rammo, Head of the Nature Preservation Department of RMK. She added that in 2010, RMK also plans to continue such Christmas events.

According to Toomas Väät, Silviculture Head Specialist of RMK, no thefts of spruces were registered by RMK this year. “One of our main goals was to offer people various opportunities for legally bringing a Christmas tree from the state forest. The results demonstrate that it was a success,” he said. In 2008, four larger illegal (Christmas) tree cuttings were registered.

Similarly to last year, RMK will invest EEK 600 000 from the sale of the spruces into increasing nature and forest awareness. Last year, the money received from the spruce campaign was used to prepare the book “Metsaelu aabits” (“ABC on Forest Life“) for pre-school children, and more than 700 copies in Estonian and Russian were presented to kindergartens all over Estonia.

In the framework of the campaign held for the second year, RMK organised guided forest trips in December to 16 sites across Estonia; at five sites, the programme was offered in Russian as well. In addition to the website of the campaign in Estonian, the page was also opened in Russian this year for the first time as well. To answer the questions of people wanting to buy spruces, a special spruce hotline was opened, which was called 1300 times.

Additional information:
Toomas Väät
Silviculture Head Specialist of RMK
Phone 676 7520, 520 5734

Marge Rammo
Head of the Nature Preservation Department of RMK
Phone 676 7530, 513 7035