Prague's Old Town Christmas tree to live on as tables

The wood from Prague’s Old Town Square tree will be reused

The Christmas market at Old Town Square will close on Sunday, Jan. 6, following a celebration of Three Kings Day. The next day, decorations will be taken off the market’s tree and it will be taken down.

The market has increasingly been attempting to be environmental, so the tree will not go to waste. Branches from the tree, once they cleaned of ornaments and decorations, will go to Prague Zoo, where several types of animals consider the green needles to be a treat.

The main part of the tree trunk will go to carpenters in Brno, who will turn it into wooden boards to make tables.

“Animals in Prague Zoo will enjoy the branches. A private carpentry shop from Moravia has purchased the trunk,” Taiko spokeswoman Hana Tietze said. Taiko is the main organizer of the Christmas markets at Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square and náměstí Republiky.

Petr Vlk, one of the carpenters involved in the project, said they want to produce tables that have a background story, and the Christmas tree wood provides this. “We will make two custom orders, and we will give half of the proceeds to charity,” Vlk said, adding that he expects them to sell for tens of thousands of crowns.

The tables will be sold before they are made. They will be offered to Prague first, then if they are still available they will be in an online auction. The auction could begin Jan. 17 and run for 10 days.

The tables won’t be ready before the summer, as the wood has to dry for at least six months.

This year’s Old Town Square tree came from Rynoltice in the Liberec region, and was selected from online suggestions. The market organizers favor trees that were soon to be cut down anyway, so the loss of the tree has minimal environmental impact.

The one selected was a 23-meter spruce that was growing on a lawn. It was not near other trees, so it had dense and even branches.

The owner was concerned that it had grown so large that if it fell in a storm it would damage his house. “If the wind starts blowing, I always say, if it lasts and the tree falls, I will have it in the living room. I am sorry to lose it, but it will still make a lot of people happy,” tree donor Svatomír Moc said, before it was removed Nov. 25.

The tree was lit Dec. 1, following some brief technical difficulties.

Other efforts to make the Christmas markets more environmental included the use of compostable plates, cups and utensils.

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