The sun might be blazing too hard for most people to think seriously about the festive season, but Christmas tree growers have until just Friday to submit tenders for Dublin City Council’s new supply and delivery contracts for “approximately” 150 trees a year.
The council is looking to secure the delivery of Nordmann fir trees up to and including Christmas 2025 at a cost of €400,000 across two lots, with the response deadline for the contract notice, first published last month, set for August 19th.
Its “notional shopping list” for Christmas trees includes five 13-metre trees and one nine-metre tree a year in the first lot, which is valued at €150,000 over the four years.
A second lot, with a value of €250,000, includes 70 trees with a height of 2.5 metres, 30 with a height of 9.5-10 metres and one with a height of five metres.
All trees must be premium grade Nordmann firs, the evergreen conifer that is now the most commonly used species for Christmas tree production. It is grown in several parts of Ireland, although some of the larger trees in Dublin have been imported from continental Europe in the past.
The council said that it “makes no guarantee of the volume of supplies” that will be contracted under the four-year framework agreement.
“Dublin City Council reserves the right to operate outside of the framework agreement at its discretion; particularly should it become apparent that doing so would offer greater value for money,” the tender document states.
Its previous four-year arrangement, which had an advertised tender value of €360,000 for a similar number of trees, expired after Christmas 2021, while previous tenders covered the provision of trees on a year-to-year basis.
In recent years, Killarney Christmas Trees, the Co Kerry-based wholesale and domestic supplier, has sourced the large O’Connell Street tree and other prominent trees on behalf of the council.
From 2008 to 2011, however, the flagship tree on O’Connell Street was an 18-metre artificial structure that divided opinion. Designed by the French firm Blachère, it comprised giant glass baubles.
Dublin City Council is not the only organisation planning ahead for the depths of winter. Cork City Council is seeking tenders for the design, delivery and management of its indoor Christmas “experience” at Cork’s City Hall, while the Office of Public Works is seeking event management and production services for Christmas at the Castle, its open-air Christmas market in the Dublin Castle courtyard.