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Green credentials for Elysée tree

Two-tonne tree from Auxerre has made the journey to Paris by barge

THE CHRISTMAS tree that will occupy the main courtyard of the Elysée palace this winter has completed its environmentally friendly journey to Paris by water.

The two-tonne €5,000 tree is a joint gift by the French horticulture association Val'Hor and the organisation representing France's inland waterways.

The two organisations have also paid half of the €4,000 bill for decorating the tree - a task given to a small French business called E Green Decor. The rest of the decoration bill is being paid by the Elysée.

The tree comes from Auxerre and made the 210km journey to the French capital by barge. A metre-square block of concrete will hold the tree in place to make sure it does not tilt to the left or the right.

Some 200,000 energy-saving lightbulbs are being set up around the tree alongside 5,000 decorations and 2.4km of tinsel. It will be switched on by President Hollande himself on Friday evening.

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