CARDIFF: Cardiff council has apologised to anyone disappointed its new plastic Christmas tree is less than third of the height it had promised. The city was left the butt of more than a few jokes on Friday night when it unveiled the tree outside Cardiff Castle – only to be forced to admit it was only 40ft tall not the 40m (131ft) it had promised. The tree, which cost £30,000 to hire from UK-based company MK Illuminations for three years, has been shipped over from China. A council spokeswoman confirmed the tree was 40ft tall not the 40m that had been advertised. “The person who told us the tree was 40m high has since revealed he believes he is 18ft tall,” she said.
“We apologise to everyone who was expecting a bigger tree and are cutting the person responsible down to size.” Had the tree been 131ft tall, it would have made it taller than Rio’s statue of Christ the Redeemer and twice the height of the Angel of the North. The much-awaited artificial, and perfectly conical, tree was unveiled already covered in golden baubles on Friday night in front of Cardiff Castle. But people were surprised to see it hardly towered above the castle walls and reached nowhere near the castle’s 40m-high clock tower. And when we went out with a measuring app, it told us the tree was well short of the 40m originally expected.
The reaction to the tree was mixed.
Matt Baldwin wrote: “Big difference between 40m and 40ft. Cardiff council couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery!” Phillip Jenkins wrote on our Facebook page: “Looks terrible and cheap, a real tree would have been much better, as long as they learnt how to hang the lights on it, not just lob them on like previous years. “It really shouldn’t be this difficult to get a nice, reasonably priced tree. “In this case it would have been better without one that this monstrosity. The base looks terrible and far too big. What a waste of money.” Deb Walker wrote: “How many warm meals, hats gloves and scarfs would that buy for people on the streets. Its disgusting that they can pay that for a bauble tree.” Liz Perrott said: “Why buy a tree from China, when there are plenty of European ones. The Trafalgar Square tree is a Norway Pine, we have big enough trees in the forestries in Wales too.” Aaron Kinsella: “Think of the amount of burnt fossil fuels and pollution just getting it to this country absolutely appalling local tree businesses wpuld of been able to sort a decent looking tree out. Cardiff council says the tree will save the tax payer £5,000 a year compared to previous “tree installations”.