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Award for Christmas tree grower Ivan, 77

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 03, 2013

  • Ivor Dungey, 77, from Liskeard, has grown Christmas trees for more than 60 years – now he has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award

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Evergreen Ivor Dungey has been sprucing up the nation's festivities for the past 60 years – as Britain's most prolific Christmas tree grower.

Ivor, 77, has been nurturing trees since he left school aged 16 is still pining for more. He grows around 30,000 firs, spruces and pines in fields near Liskeard, before chopping down several thousand each Christmas for homes across the UK.

Ivor and his wife Margaret purchased a nursery in the 1950s and he reckons he's produced around 100,000 trees since then.

Their business was originally intended as a sideline for their retirement but now Santa Trees is one of the country's best Christmas tree producers, with up to 20 varieties.

Ivor gets help from daughters Helen Edge, 43, Julia Westley, 48, and grandsons Barney, 20, and Charley, 14.

He said: "I was just a boy when I started out, about 17 or so. I had a field where I used to grow flowers and veggies so I decided to plant that up with about two to three hundred Norway Spruce Christmas Trees.

"We took on a nursery later on and planted more and more varieties. I've probably grown about 100,000 or so since then. Christmas trees require lot of dedication – each one takes eight or nine years to grow and they need attention all year round.

"The whole family is enrolled during the festive season: my wife, daughters and now my grandsons, but I've got no plans to stop – you can put your feet up for a long time once your dead."

Ivor says his finest achievement was supplying an 18ft 6in Norway Spruce to stand outside 10 Downing Street in 2003.

He's also picked up countless awards over the years and just last week was handed a lifetime achievement award from the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA).

Chairman John Hardwick said: "I remember when I began growing Christmas trees more than 20 years ago, it was Ivor who really helped me find my feet.

"He's a very popular member of the BCTGA and many of our growers go to him for advice because he's such an authority on the subject of tree growing, and he's so passionate about it.

"He's a very worthy recipient of this award and we're very thankful for the dedication he has shown to the BCTGA over the years."

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