There are few trees that have their own hashtag on twitter. But the tree in London’s Trafalgar Square has more than a hashtag, #trafalgartree–it has its own poem, written annually in tribute.
The tree in Trafalgar Square, London is donated to the British people every year from the people of Norway, to commemorate British support during World War Two. It’s a tradition that was started in 1947 and later, which inspired a poetry project to follow its felling in a forest outside Oslo, its transport to Lincolnshire and then its arrival in London.
This year, however, the tree has been under a little pressure to look a little better, with many people declaring it to have seen better days. Many people have called it sparse, but councillors in Oslo voted against replacing it or sending a new tree.
Westminster City Council defended it on Twitter by declaring that the tree was not bare but following current sanitary guidelines, in that its branches were socially distancing.
The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Westminster, Andrew Smith, issued a statement saying “we are hugely grateful to the people of Norway for sending us this annual gift, which plays a vital role in making Westminster an even more beautiful place to visit at Christmas” and whilst its “shape and size may change”, it is a “perennial reminder of the friendship between two nations and the enduring bonds forged in adversity.”
Ironically, the tree appears to have boosted tourism as more people are going to see it, to decide for themselves. Rightfully, it is the tree that is having the final say on twitter, asking people to “remember it is about what is on the inside that counts, be thankful and kind and I hope that you all have a very #safe and Merry Christmas!”