At the recent AGM of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers, the outgoing chair Dermot Page welcomed the election of Tony Johnston (N.I. Farm Forestry) from Comber, Co Down.
In his welcoming message Dermot said: “Tony will bring a new dynamic to the organisation and has the skill set needed to move the ‘Love a Real Tree’ campaign to the next level of promotion.”
Tony is a professionally qualified forester who entered the Christmas tree growing industry in 2001, initially as an ancillary activity. Growing of Christmas trees progressed to become a larger, more important part of his business, so much so that it now accounts for nearly half of his forestry business activity.
He has a particular interest in Short Rotation Forestry with Christmas trees being the ultimate expression of this type of silviculture. He also dabbles with ‘exotic’ firs and spruce.
Tony represents the Confederation of Forest Industries (CONFOR) on Plant Health, the Rural Development Programme and grants.