December 8, 2011
Lights turned on the tallest Christmas tree in Iceland this year

This week, the lights were lit on the tallest Christmas tree in Iceland this year at a formal ceremony by the Alcoa Fjardaál smelter in Reydarfjördur. Children from two local playschools attended the ceremony on December 7th, and sang Christmas carols for the guests.

The tree, which is around 13.5 meters high, is of the sitka spruce species (Picea sitchensis). It was cut down in Hallormsstadaskógur, Iceland’s largest wooded area, which is located not far from the Fjardaál smelter. 
 
According to Thór Thorfinnsson, a ranger from the Iceland Forestry Association, the tree was planted in 1979, from seeds that where imported from Homer, Alaska. “The tree was planted by a group of Norwegian volunteers who came to Iceland in 1979 on a reforestation expedition. It has grown very fast, or by 40 cm a year, and was about 13.5 meters high when we cut it. The diameter of the stock is about 40 cm at the bottom, and thus the girth is about 116 cm.”

No stays were used to keep the tree in place; instead, the bottom part was inserted into an iron cylinder, which was cast into an extremely heavy foundation. The tree is now sparkling and shining, imbuing the people of Fjardaál with the true holiday spirit and goodwill towards all men.
 



Click image to enlarge.


Dancing around the Christmas tree


Children from two local playschools paid Fjardaál a visit, singing Christmas carols in the snow. Afterwards, all guests were invited into the Fjardaál canteen for some hot chocolate and ginger cookies.