Christmas in pictures: The finest and foulest trees

By MSN UK News/PA Rod Minchin/PA Wire
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Sacriston, County Durham

Creating the perfect seasonal tableau can be a tricky business. See gallery

The parish council of Sacriston had to defend its attempt at a Christmas tree after it was branded the worst in the country. A living tree had been planted in the middle of the County Durham village last month, with the intention that it would grow bigger over the years and provide an annual focal point for the festivities. But recent storms ripped around 2ft from its tip, leaving certain villagers disappointed at its less than impressive dimensions.

Chris Ison/PA Wire
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Poole, Dorset

Following complaints from residents and shoppers, a fake Christmas tree in Poole town centre has had to be replaced with the real thing. The £14,000 artificial tree was said to resemble "a huge traffic cone" or "something from outer space", was attacked by vandals, and became the subject of a Facebook group entitled "We don't care about health and safety, Poole needs a proper Christmas tree". Council officers defended the cost of the fake tree saying it was safer, sturdier and ultimately cheaper as it could be reused each year.

AP Photo/Felipe Dana
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Rio de Janeiro

A giant floating Christmas tree has been unveiled on Lagoa lake in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
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Seoul, South Korea

An initiative entitled Waterful Christmas has been launched in South Korea to raise money to provide clean drinking water for African children. In this picture, an unidentified South Korean child hangs an empty water bottle on a Christmas tree as part of the campaign.

AP Photo/The Mail Tribune, Bob Pennel
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Medford, Oregon

Keith Lee unloads his Christmas tree at his house in the US state of Oregon. Lee and his wife Jennifer spent two days stuck in more than a foot of snow on a remote road in mountains near the Californian border while searching for a tree. The pair eventually managed to free their vehicle and return home bearing their festive foliage.

AP Photo/Morten Holm/Scanpix
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Oslo, Norway

The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Duncan Sandys (left) and the mayor of Oslo, Fabian Stang, joined forces to cut the pine tree destined for Trafalgar Square in London. Each year since 1947 a Christmas tree has been given to the people of London from the people of Norway, in gratitude for Britain's support for Norway during World War II.

Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
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Trafalgar Square, London

Norway's annual gift of a Christmas tree to Britain had its lights switched on in London's Trafalgar Square on December 3, 2009.

AP Photo/Khin Maung Win
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Yangon, Burma

Light sculptures of Santa Claus and a Christmas tree have been installed in the compound of the US Embassy in Yangon in the military state of Burma, as a mark of solidarity with those celebrating Christmas in democratic countries around the world.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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Washington, DC

A giant tree has been installed outside the west front of the Capitol Building in Washington. The tree is from Apache-Sitegreaves National Forest in Arizona.

AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini
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Geneva, Switzerland

A project entitled "Test de Rorschach" by Pitaya Design of French artists Arnaud Giroud and David Lesort has been unveiled at the 9th Trees and Lights Festival ("Festival Arbres et Lumieres") in Geneva, Switzerland. Ten trees, each decorated and lit, have been set up around the Geneva lakeside and in the city centre.

Rui Vieira/PA Wire
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Bradgate Park, Leicestershire

Members of the public get to grips with more modest-sized trees at a farm in Leicestershire.