The humble Christmas Tree's roots began over 1000 years ago when some Christian dude got peeved with a bunch of pagans worshipping an oak tree. To spite them, he chopped it down with his ye olde Black and Decker hand operated chain saw.
Then was amazed that a fir tree grew in its place, believing it was a miracle, when it was really down to them pesky hippy pagans with they're tree conservation ideas. Then, because the pagan hippies were loving this tree, he cut that down in spite, put it on display, and made the pagans put expensive gifts on and around it.
Anyway?there are lots of tales about the Christmas tree's origin, my half-true synopsis above being one of them, but that's not the issue here. People do decorate trees at Christmas in various ways, and presents are placed under and around them. And because we, as humans, are curious sneaky buggers we usually have a poke and a shake at the presents to try and ascertain what they are.
Anyhoo, this results in a lot of fatalities each year when people cause their 8' pine tree to fall over while they are craftily peeking at their gifts under the tree. Usually the falling tree knocks them unconscious, then starts an electrical fire when water from the tree's container spills over the fairy lights. Thus ruining Christmas for that person's family. But again, that's not the issue here.
The real issue here is the dodgy street sellers who vend Christmas trees in town centres, on road sides and off the backs of lorries. They're an annoyance, and a nuisance, and generally don't have a licence. So the government is clamping down on vendors who push these trees, for the comfort of Christmas shoppers, by banning their sale.
Fines beginning at £1,000 may be issued to anyone caught selling a tree, and buyers could be fined also. Anyone placing such a tree in their homes will have that tree confiscated, and receive either a fine or prison sentence. A spokeswoman for the British Prime Minister Tony Blair said, "We have to clamp down hard on this. We usually pussyfoot around these issues, but to show people we do have strength and are a formidable government, we are being tough on this issue."
The ban is due to be in place by this Easter, and will run for a 7 month trial period, if the government receives a high enough revenue from fines it will become a permanent ban.