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PEFC Certified Christmas Tree to Light St. Peter's Square

10.12.2009

As is tradition at the Vatican, a Christmas tree arrived last Friday in Rome and will take pride of place in St. Peter’s Square. The tree comes from the a PEFC certified forest from the Walloon Region of Belgium.

PEFC Italy is offsetting the CO2 emissions from transporting and lighting the tree, and so this year, at the official ceremony, as the lights are turned on, Pope Benedict XVI will receive an environmentally friendly Christmas gift.

The offering of a Christmas Tree to the Pope started in 1982. The first tree came from Poland – Pope John-Paul II’s country of origin. A lumberjack decided to deliver a giant tree to the Vatican on his tractor. Since then, a nativity scene and gigantic Christmas tree can be seen annualy in St. Peter’s Square. After all these years, the giving of the Christmas Tree has become an honnour, and this year that honnour belongs to the Belgians.

The tree was found in a PEFC certified, sustainably managed forest in Spa. It is a Norway Spruce and with a height of 30 metres, a trunk circumference of 2.65 metres, and branches at the bottom that spread out 8 metres. It weighs a massive 14 tonnes.