France commune

French town cuts its own Christmas trees to help nature

The inhabitants of a small town near Montpellier take part in a felling operation of Aleppo pines, an invasive species, and make their Christmas tree.

The event is called pin picks up ton (collect your pine tree) and run until Sunday, December 6 for the inhabitants of the municipality of Nebian.

La Ramasse is also the name of the vast limestone chain that stretches between Clermont-l’Hérault and Nébian, where you are allowed to choose and cut your own Christmas pine.

This is the second year in a row that the event has officially taken place. This year, due to Covid-19, people are being asked to go and cut their trees only with members of their own household and there will be no mulled wine service, unlike last year.

Aleppo pines are a rapidly colonizing species and can damage vegetation and scrubland, exposing them to the risk of forest fires.

The idea of ​​using them as a Christmas tree came after a Nebian inhabitant found himself without a tree and ran out of time to buy one.

“One Christmas, I didn’t have time to buy a Christmas tree, so I went out near my home in Nébian and cut an Aleppo pine,” Antony Meunier told France 3 Occitanie.

“I knew this species has a tendency to invade, so I didn’t hesitate. When I walked through the village with my pine, a lot of people laughed but the idea sprouted,” he said.

It is from this experience that pin picks up ton was born and last year the first real edition of the event took place. About thirty families from Nebian spent the holidays with a decorated Aleppo pine in their living room.

The pine cutting area has been delimited by the Cerise sur le Château association, of which Mr. Meunier is president.

Trees can only be cut during a designated period from late November to early December and the operation is highly supervised. It is only open to residents of Nebian.

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