Only about 20% of Christmas trees sold in Iceland are actually grown here, and domestic tree growers are encouraged to plant more.
RÚV reports that there are 50,000 live trees sold in Iceland every Christmas season. Of these, only about 10,000 were grown in Iceland. Icelandic growers are then outnumbered in their competition with larger Danish tree producers, and as such, Icelanders are being encouraged to grow more Christmas trees.
Tree farmers that RÚV spoke to said that the relatively mild autumns and winters we have been experiencing lately have been a boon in some cases, in that trees naturally grow faster in warmer, wetter weather. However, the downside of this is that they begin to decay faster once cut. As such, most Icelandic trees are sold very shortly after being chopped down.
Despite what you may have heard, Iceland actually does have a plethora of trees. Forests, largely managed by both independent tree farmers and the government, are used for everything from timber to fuel. In fact, we paid a recent visit to one of the more forested areas of the country, the Lagarfljót area.