On Monday, November 20, the mayor of Riga, Vilnis Ķirsis, together with the Young Guards Unit of the 45th Secondary School of Riga and representatives of “Rīgas Meži” selected Riga’s main Christmas trees in the Gauja forestry company. They will decorate Doma Square and Town Hall Square.
In the last 15 years, for the first time the main festive decorations of Riga come from the right bank of the Daugava and for the first time from the forest of Gauja – Sigulda county’s Judaži. Until now, the main spruces of Riga have been selected in the “Rīga forests” Tīreļi forestry, which covers a wide area on the left bank of the Daugava.
This year, the Riga mayor was helped to search for the main decorations of the city’s festivities by the Young Guard unit of the 45th secondary school of Riga and its instructor Dace Tomsone, whose members took the solemn pledge on Lāčplēš day.
The selected fir trees are about 30 years old and their height is about 15 meters. Spruce crowns are beautiful, thick and dark green, which means that the tree has grown in fertile and not too wet soil.
In total, this year the capital will be decorated with more than 50 Christmas trees that came from the “Riga forests”. They will be located both in the main squares of Riga, as well as in the neighborhoods and near educational institutions.
“Jaunsardze teaches from childhood to be socially active citizens of Latvia, to get involved and take responsibility. And such responsible moments can be very different – both serious and decisive, as well as joyful and uplifting, like this one, when the task for us, together with the young guards, was to find the most beautiful trees to decorate Riga during the anticipation of Christmas and during the holidays. The spruces selected from the forests of Riga, which we will bring to Riga, have been growing for about 30 years – the same length of time that Jaunsardze has been operating in Latvia, which I wish to be numbered as the most beautiful spruces,” emphasized the mayor of Riga Vilnis Ķirsis, choosing the main spruces of the city.
“The selection of Riga firs is a very responsible event. The fir tree must be both thick and slender and long enough, and its needles must be dark green. If Riga’s holiday decorations usually come from the left bank of the Daugava, this year for the first time from the right bank of our fateful river – Gauja forest,” says Anita Skudra, chairwoman of the board of “Rīgas mežu”. “Choosing firs this year was not an easy task, because several dozen magnificent firs were growing in an area of less than two hectares. The young guards looked at almost all the fir trees and chose two, taking their plumpness, symmetry and the amount of cones as the main criteria.”
During the event, it was possible to select the most beautiful fir trees, as well as to get acquainted with modern forest management technologies – drones, which are used by “Rīgas mežu” employees on a daily basis. The new rangers could see the forests as they are seen by the foresters of “Riga Forests” on a daily basis and make sure that the most beautiful and thickest fir trees can also be selected with the help of drones.
“Rīga Forests” reminds us that it is not allowed to cut Christmas trees in the forests of Riga and Pierīga (within a radius of approximately 50 km around the capital). There are few spruces in the forests of Riga, their proportion does not even reach 10%. They were mainly planted by the company’s employees, cared for over many years, before that they were grown from seed to seedling over several years in the “Norupe” tree nursery of “Rīgas mežu”. If it were allowed to cut Christmas trees in the forests of Riga, then within two years there would be almost no small trees in them.
About Gauja forestry
“Rīgas mežu” Gauja forestry manages the forests on both sides of the Vidzeme highway – around Ādaži, Carnikava and Kalngali, as well as around Stopinių and Ulbrok, as well as small areas on the side of Salaspils and Sigulda.
Forestry area is around 20.5 thousand. ha. Main tree species: pine (about 90%), birch (about 6%) and spruce (about 5%).
In the forestry area, there is a protected area of European importance – the nature reserve “Garkalne forests” (364 ha). It is famous for the fact that about half of Latvia’s green crow population (Coracias garrulus) nests there. Part of the forest is also the nature park “Piejūra” (528 ha). In the forestry area, there are also such rare bird species as, for example, the common plover (Bubo bubo) and the puffin (Upupa epops).
Gauja forestry forests are popular recreation places in Pieriga. Also, forestry is one of the flagships of “Riga forests” in the implementation of even more sustainable and gentle forest care, as an individual forest landscape design plan is created and implemented for almost every logging area.
About SIA “Rīgas meži”
SIA “Rīgas meži” is a municipal company founded in 2008. It takes care of 62,000 ha of forests, 446 ha of Riga’s parks and greenery, as well as the 367 ha cultural and recreational park “Mežaparks” and the sustainable development, biological diversity and accessibility of these areas for the public.
The company has Daugava, Gauja, Katrīna, Rīga and Tīreli forests, as well as the nursery “Norupe” and sawmill “Norupe”. The company has an environmental education center and the program “EkVidO2” or “ECOLOGY. ENVIRONMENT. BRIGHT”.
The company’s facilities and territories are located in the cities of Riga and Jūrmala, as well as in the territories of Đadaži, Ķekava, Limbaži, Mārupe, Ogre, Olaine, Ropaži, Salaspils and Sigulda counties.
For additional information: Ieva Bērziņa “Rīgas meži” Strategic Communication and Public Relations Department, [email protected]
The information was prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, project coordinator of the External Communication Department of Riga Municipality, e-mail: [email protected].