Donal Leavy at his Christmas tree farm in Castletown Geoghegan.

WATCH: 'There has been a move back to real Christmas trees'

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Donal Leavy's Christmas tree farm just outside Castletown Geoghegan.

Donal is the seventh generation of his family to farm this land - his eldest son Leinster rugby and Ireland star Dan will be the eighth – but he is the first to grow Christmas trees on it. On a plot of just under ten acres which he initially planted ten years ago, there are about 25,000 trees.

Wicklow is the county that springs to mind when people think of Irish grown Christmas trees, but Donal says that while the trees grow quicker in the Garden County, the fact that they grow slower in Westmeath makes for a superior product, both in shape and bushiness.

There has been a move back to real Christmas trees in recent years, a trend that some say has been accelerated by the pandemic. This year Donal sold his first trees to a woman from Dublin in September and a few in October, but understandably it's only in the last couple of weeks that business has really picked up.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner when we visited the farm on Wednesday, Donal said that it's not hard to see why people are switching back to natural Christmas trees.

“I think most definitely there is a move back to real Christmas trees. People like the fragrance, they like to support local and there is a bit of a reaction against plastic.

“It's a renewable resource and we will be replanting as we go along,” he said.

This year increasing numbers of tree shoppers are going for the “choose and cut” option. Families are coming out and making an event out of picking their tree. It is also proving popular with families originally from Poland and other central and eastern European countries where there is a tradition of going out to the woods and cutting your own tree.

Dublin based Mullingar native Peter Winkworth and Donal carrying one of Peter's trees to his car.

Mullingar native Peter Winkworth travelled down from Dublin on Wednesday to pick up trees for his home in Enniskerry and for his adult children's homes.

He says that there is nothing like a real tree to usher in the Christmas spirit. Wicklow may be on his doorstep but he says that the quality of the trees in his home county make the journey worthwhile.

“It's everything, the scent of it, the colour and it makes the feeling of Christmas. The quality of the trees are top class. They don't shed. I get the full month of December and the start of January as well. There is nothing to beat it,” he said.