Trafalgar Square Christmas tree: 'Sparse' spruce ridiculed
"Britain's most famous Christmas tree" has been branded a turkey over its "sparse" foliage and "anaemic" appearance.
Since 1947, a Norwegian spruce has been installed every year in the centre of Trafalgar Square.
But some have been unimpressed by the 2019 offering, commenting on the festive favourite's "droopy" look.
Westminster Council said the 69ft (21m) tree was "a generous gift from the people of Oslo to London".
A spokesman said its height meant it wouldn't look like smaller ones in people's homes.
The British Ambassador to Norway, Richard Wood said: "This is what 90-year-old, 25m trees in the wild look like.
"It is important to consider the symbolism of the tree rather than simply how many branches it has."
'Thought that counts'
But those arguments haven't stopped critics from needling the tree on Twitter.
Commenters dubbed it the "most anaemic tree possible", saying it looked "very poorly and drab".
One said it looked "sad" while another consoled with: "It's the thought that counts".
But some leapt to the tree's defence, and said it was a gift for which the nation should be grateful.
One said: "It's a present. You don't deride a present. You just say thank you and enjoy it in the spirit it was given. Thank you Norway."
Another pointed out that the decorations had yet to be added, and said the council could "bush it out" with tinsel, lights and Christmas cheer.
When some users said critics of the tree were "trolls", the tree's official Twitter account replied: "I thought I'd left them in Norway."
After one woman called it "sparse", the tree's account said she might have meant "spruce".
The tree is being decorated with the light switch on at 18:00 on Thursday.
It was planted in about 1929 in a forest near a small lake called Trollvann, which is Norwegian for "the water of the trolls".
The spruce weighs about two tonnes and has been encouraged to grow by foresters talking to it and hugging it, Westminster Council said.
It was felled on 19 November at a special ceremony attended by the mayors of Oslo and Westminster before being shipped from Brevik to Immingham.
The first Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree was 48ft (14.6m) tall and was a thank you from King Haakon VII who was forced to flee Norway and seek sanctuary in Britain with his government as the Nazis invaded his homeland.