The sale of New Year and Christmas trees, cultivated in state forestry, officially starts on December 15. Tall and slim, short and bushy, pine and fir trees impersonate the magic of New Year holidays. However, the old practice from soviet movies and cartoons - to go in the woods and cut a tree for holidays - is no longer possible, because punishable.

Purchase and sale of New Year pine and fir tree without electronic chip will be fined at least 274 hryvnia, head of the State Forest Service of Ukraine Viktor Syvets informs.

Sale of New Year pine and fir tree without electronic chip will be fined 274-1753 UAH, depending on the diameter of the trunk. Besides, such a businessman can be prosecuted. According to the head of the State Forest Service, the penalties will be imposed on the customers who purchase a New Year tree with no electronic chip as well.

As a reminder, the practice of e-control over wood has been observed since last year.  According to the State Forest Service, the practice of control has justified itself in full, thus will be continued.

"In 2011 the President set two main tasks: people should not buy and bring home radiologically contaminated trees and people should destroy softwood reserves of the country. Those were not simple tasks, but the state forestry has managed to set the things right, including legal sale of New Year and Christmas trees. Thanks to e-control, we saved more than 400 h of fir plantations from illegal logging last year. Moreover, the Forest Service has started identifying the poachers - raid teams work round the clock in all regions," he said.

On the eve of the "official opening", ForUm visited the forestry of Kyiv region and watched the master-class on labeling.

Konstantyn Kovalchuk, ranger of Kamenski forestry explains: "Plastic label with information chip about the enterprise, which cultivated the tree, is fixed on the trunk of the tree really tights making it almost impossible to remove. And like this the trees get delivered to the market."

According to Pavlo Hinko, manager on e-control, every Ukrainian can check for himself whether the tree he wants to buy is legal. With the special program to download on the phone from website, every buyer can establish the origin of the tree.

"To verify the legality of the tree we can use any mobile phone. Following the indications of the free of charge program, we can find full information about the tree," Pavlo explains.

The specialist also notes that every label is made of resistant plastic with laser bar-code, impossible to remove.

In his turn, Syvets noted that there are no challenges to legal sale of the pines and firs. "The businessmen, having New Year trees plantations, should address regional forestmanagement. The forest service personnel go to these areas to establish their legitimacy. If these plantations have been legally landed, entrepreneurs buy chips and representatives of the forestmanagement input series and numbers to the database," Syvets explained. Moreover, he assured that the introduction of electronic registration of the New Year trees would not influence the tree price.

"We have purchased the label. They are relatively cheap - UAH 1.45. Today we've already earned UAH 24500 from the sale. Our main buyers are enterprises. The prices vary - UAH 35 and higher. The price depends on the height of the tree. There are fir trees costing 100 and even 200 hryvnias each. As you can see we have fir trees 5-8 meters high," chief ranger of the Dymerski forestry Oleksandra Lubash told ForUm.

The market price for Christmas trees should remain the same as last year, head of the State Forest Service of Ukraine Viktor Syvets says. "The market price will depend of course on businessmen. But I think it should remain the same as last year. The average wholesale price, at which entrepreneurs can buy a Christmas tree, amounts to 50-52 UAH. And we remember that last year the sales price of trees at markets was at least 80 UAH. I consider that 30 UAH of earning for one tree is a good income for the entrepreneur," he noted.

The last year practice of renting a fir tree is no longer popular, press office of the State Forest Service reports. To remind, last year people could rent a tree in a pot and return it to the nursery-garden after the holidays. However, the population did not like the idea much and the program was not profitable.

The subordinate enterprises of the State Forest Service can deliver about one million trees for the sale this December. According to Viktor Syvets, this figure corresponds to the market needs of a buyer. "Last year, the forest enterprises sold 735 thousand of Christmas trees worth more than 32 million UAH. And other 200 thousand were sold by other companies," Syvets stressed.

Specialists also note that state enterprises prepare New Year trees one or two days before the sale. No forestry makes big reserves at once, but depending on the orders from customers and enterprises. "It takes about one week between cutting and sale. A tree can stay inside the premises for another two weeks. However, there are recommendations to keep it fresh for longer period. It is recommended to plant it in a pot with sand and water it regularly," Syvets says.

In its turn, ForUm wishes everyone that the forest beauty of your choice fills your house with magic of nature and brings happiness for the whole year. Just take into account the above-mentioned nuances. 


The Cabinet of Ministers has defined the fines for the damaged caused to the forest in the result of illegal logging of fir trees depending on the trunk diameter:

- less than 10 cm - UAH 189;
- between 10.1 and 14 cm – UAH 333;
- between 14.1 and 18 cm – UAH 854;
- between 18.1 and 22 cm – UAH 1753.

Moreover, according to the Code of Ukraine on administrative crimes, individual offenders have to pay another fine in the amount of 5-10 tax-free minimum incomes (UAH 85-170) and state officials must pay 7-12 tax-free minimum incomes (UAH 119-204). Thus, for illegal logging of a fir tree the offender will have to pay minimum UAH 274.

Tetyana Matsur, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk


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