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null Le Grand sapin trône sur la Place Kléber

The Great Christmas tree takes pride of place in Place Kléber

The Great Christmas tree takes pride of place in Place Kléber

Published on 3 November 2021

After leaving its forest of Val-et-Châtillon, the Great Christmas tree — the symbol of Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas — arrived at the heart of the city on November 2.

The tree is kindly chosen by Henri-Pierre Gangloff, the National Forestry Office's production unit manager, who every year travels hundreds of kilometers through the forests of Alsace, the Moselle and the Vosges to find THE star fir tree that will be the symbol of “Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas.”

The fir tree's departure from its forest contributes to the sustainable forest management undertaken by the National Forestry Office (ONF). Over 120 hours’ work is required on the part of the ONF team and its climbers and pruners to prepare the great Christmas tree for its journey to Strasbourg. The first step consists in cutting this behemoth and positioning it on the trailer. First, using two cranes weighing 150 metric tons between them, the conifer is strapped before being cut, thus preventing it from falling. Then it is gently and carefully placed on the trailer, avoiding damaging it too much; this operation can last more than two hours! To ensure unhindered transport, each branch is then folded and attached to the trunk. Once it has arrived in Place Kléber, a team of twenty or so people and two cranes gear into action to raise, wedge and cement in place this king of the forest measuring 30 meters high, weighing 7 metric tons and spanning 12 meters wide.

Once the tree has been installed, so that it is able to hold its finery, another step consists in increasing the density of its branches by transplanting 180 branches from other fir trees specially chosen by the ONF.

It is then good and ready to welcome all its decorations. This year, the slogan for “Strasbourg, Capital of Christmas” is “Let's light up the stars!”

The decorative elements will therefore be based on fine and sustainable materials such as wood and metal. Stars, colored Christmas baubles with Northern Lights effects, small cathedrals made from recycled materials, etc. will lend a sparkling touch to our beautiful, internationally renowned Christmas tree, which this year will be at the heart of a 2021 event that strives to be more authentic and inclusive.