Every year during the Advent season many Estonians are drawn into the lonely Estonian forests to cut down their own Christmas tree. According to ancient tradition, every resident of the Baltic country may use the ax or saw on a tree of their choice in public forests for Christmas. The path can also be shown by an app of the State Forestry Administration. Payment is done directly in the forest by mobile phone or in advance via online banking.
“Last year we sold around 8,000 trees ,” Mari – Liis Kitter of the State Forestry Administration says. The price depends on the tree length. Up to one meter high trees cost three euros, for each additional meter, five additional euros are due. Who does not pay his tree and it gets caught, has to pay a penalty. Strict control however is not maintained. “We are hoping that people are honest, and most are indeed,” says Kitter. In the previous year they had only two “organized Christmas thieves” caught in the act.