please empty your brain below

How environmentally friendly is it to chop down a 70 year old tree and ship it all the way from Norway to London? It would be better to have an artificial tree that could just be put up each year.
I seem to remember The Times ran a story that the tradition of Norway sending us a tree was the result of the James Bond author having a drunken night out. No time to check right now
I'm loving reading this anatomy of a Diamond Geezer blog. Lovingly dissected, the parts laid out for study and examination. With the invitation to help bring today's post to life.
Thanks for your comments.
Eagerly awaiting a paragraph or two.
The end product makes it look so easy but an inkling into how you go about it shows writing 1000+ interesting words day in/day out is anything but.

Like faced with an exam paper, my mind has gone completely blank!
The headings in the outline make for a coherent flow, as we would fully expect. This does not fit with any of them:
I am struck by the incongruity that the most famous plant in Trafalgar Square is a conifer from northern climes, and yet the most famous animals in the square - after Landseer's lions with their own inappropriate domestic-cats' paws - were the equally tropical hippos that once wallowed here, and whose remains (dug up as the square was constructed) can be seen and occasionally handled in the Natural History Museum.
Fascinating Martin, but the most famous animals in the square (I hesitate to say surely) are the pigeons?
Here's my attempt:
The 19m (62ft) tree, dubbed 'the queen of the forest' by the foresters who cared for it, was felled on 25th November, and started its four-day journey to Immingham a couple of days later via DFDS Seaways. It's checked over and the journey to London begins, ready to be installed and decorated in time for the lighting ceremony, which always takes place on the first Thursday of December.
This tree wasn't even a sapling when the event it represents ended, being around 70 years old, and just pips Covent Garden's tree as the tallest (natural) tree in London. It's not the tallest in the UK, though, which prize goes to Kew Gardens' Wakehurst site in Haywards Heath, with a tree twice the size, at a massive 37 metres (121 ft).
[Trying to be DG is hard. How do you do this every day?]

Despite being well past retirement age, the spirit of the Trafalgar Square tree makes a bold attempt to stay relevant for the insta-twitter generation. Unfortunately its social media presence echoes a loving grandmother’s overuse of inappropriate emojis in her Christmas text message rather than rolling out a smooth Time Out factoid.

It’s a short step from proud Facebook posts to sharing alt-right content and complaining about MSM. Oslo should keep a careful watch.
Sadly I don't have time to do serious research today but a little bit of detective work revealed...

This year's tree isn't in the same place in the square as the 1947 original. Photographs of that show it positioned between two of the lions, slightly to the north east of Nelson's Column but in front of the fountains. Today's tree is lined up with the column and between the fountains and the National Gallery.
I don't have anything to say about the Christmas tree; but I am from Pinner, so the provision of zebra crossings is right up my street!!
Until a few years ago the zebra crossing at the bottom of the High Street was too close to the junction with Bridge Street, therefore if it was in use, cars turning left or right from Bridge Street would cause additional congestion and delay in the main through route of Bridge Street. When they remodeled the junction, they sensibly moved the crossing a few metres further up High Street allowing 1-2 cars to wait in the High Street and reducing a little the blockage in Bridge Street.
However, just round the corner in Bridge Street, between High Street and Chapel lane is another heavily used zebra crossing and that...
Requesting a paragraph on zebra-crossing provision (not necessarily in Pinner) may elicit a heavier flood of contributions.
Bravo Trevor, a masterful construction, although of course 37m (121ft) is not ‘twice the size’ of 19m (62ft).
It's a tree wiv lights sent to to us by foreigners for winning the war against those other foreigners, we put it in Trafalgar Square coz we beat foreigners there too, it woz on Blue Peter every year along wiv that candle thing made from coat angers, the only other thing about it woz John Noakes climbing Nelson's Column, which woz proper scary, it's all CGI now.

The end.
While Norway has been known to donate Christmas trees to a number of cities across Europe, and even offered trees to Bethlehem and Washington, the country's tree-shipping activities were scaled back significantly over the years. Blame costs, environmental impact, and dissatisfaction with sparse nordmann firs. Edinburgh, Cardiff, Newcastle, even Tottenham according to an obscure source, were once proud recipients of needled Norwegian donations, but source their own trees today. The same for Berlin, Paris, and Rotterdam. Beyond smaller cities such as Aberdeen, only Reykjavik remains as a capital alongside London displaying gifts from Norway every Christmas, but for how much longer?

Obscure source: Norwegian Wikipedia
Ah, yes, Kev. What was it Captain Mainwaring used to say in Dad's Army - 'I wondered when someone would spot that'?
Don't tell them how you do it or they'll all be wanting to do it!

Or not as the case might be...
I'd have a go at a guest post (I have a specific (DG-ish) topic in mind), but not this one.

Others have already raised some of the material that could be written into longer paragraphs.
Often known as a site of protest, celebration or prolonged selfie-gurning by tourists from all over the globe, Trafalgar Square was not at its best yesterday clothed as it was in a coat of mizzle, interrupted by intermittent heavier showers.
First laid out in the 19th century to commemorate the naval victory over the French off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, it’s most prominent landmark is Nelson’s Column which surrounded by the works of a famous pair of Edwins: Lutyens fountains, and Landseer’s lions.
Standing with my back to The National Gallery, and resisting the temptation to enter it’s welcoming warmth to view the wonders within, the view down Whitehall towards The Palace of Westminster has temporarily been interrupted by the decorated festive gift from the people of Norway, which was lit with great ceremony at dusk ..
It’s “its” not “it’s” (twice).
Adrian - The infamous Trafalgar Square pigeons are no more, largely thanks to the efforts of Ken Livingstone.

I would attempt a paragraph on the history of pigeons but Londonist have beaten me to it.
The “gift from Norway” is usually explained as displaying Norway’s gratitude for the UK’s assistance to Norway during the Second World War. That assistance included hosting Norway’s government in exile, and also her king-in-exile, Haakon VII. This King, Norway’s first as an independent nation since 1387, knew Britain well, as his wife Maud was one of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren – indeed their wedding had been celebrated in Buckingham Palace, and they spent a lot of time in England, mostly at Maud’s childhood home of Sandringham, before Maud’s untimely death in 1938.
So there is now another commenter 'kev' who isn't me, how should we distinguish ourselves?

dg writes: they're not lower case.

I would like to know how they put the tree up, and particularly what happens to it after it comes down. Could be the subect of one of those interesting telly programs they don't bother to make.
Growing up in Scotland I remember hearing on the radio that the tree was up, and later seeing it on black-and-white TV and then in full colour. But it wasn't till I moved to London in 1979 that I saw the actual tree, probably from the top of a 29 bus, and I confess never to have been at the switching on. So that's not much use for your blog, sorry.
I'd love to contribute but I'm really busy today. I'll be submitting my historical background paragraph tomorrow morning.
There are several commenters who might be me, but aren't.
Are short paragraphs ok? I worked for the scaffolding company that erected the tree in 78,79 & 80. 3am start so that the lorry carrying the tree could negotiate the roads, and a brief glimpse of me on Blue Peter.
That’s interesting Kev H.
Less interesting, I was taken to see the tree by mum and dad when I was 4 or 5, so about 1949 or 1950. I remember a red sunset and millions of starlings twittering in the trees around the square by St Martins. That’s all I remember.
"Yes, but spelled correctly."

Love it.
Gutted my line about the two Edwins didn't make the edit.
I guess this exercise shows why this blog is so amazing.
DG has more commitment and talent than us all put together!

I now have an even greater respect for the amount of work that goes into providing content for us to read each day.
"brief and pithy", Frank, "brief and pithy".
A tree has been sourced from the Nordmarka forests near Oslo, Norway every year since 1947. The tradition started as a thank you from norwegians for support from the British during the occupation of Norway during the Second World War, and has now continued for over 75 years.
Added, thanks!
To add to alex f's paragraph on historical background:

The first tree, gifted by the city of Oslo in 1947, was more than 40 feet (12m) tall and featured hanging streamers and white bulbs. It was opened to much fanfare, including a performance by the Band of the Welsh Guards. According to the Norwegian ambassador at the time, Per Preben Prebensen, the tradition originated from the Norwegian Royal Navy’s yearly Christmas operation to bring a Norwegian spruce to Haakon VII, the Norge king in exile in the UK. As per Norwegian tradition, the tree is draped always in vertical strings of white lights.

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