Cutting down a christmas tree – How would you and your family like to go out into the country to choose or cutting down a christmas tree? Some local Christmas tree plantations offer this possibility over the coming weeks. Typically the farmers explain that they are selling a unique experience together with the tree. They suggest it’s a good way to ensure a freshly cut tree—many of the ones sold in parking lots were cut in October. For those who have never tried it, a real tree adds a wonderful burst of greenery into your house in winter. The smell of most conifers is quite pleasant, and if you keep watering the tree, it stays alive and adds considerable humidity to the interior air at a season when many peoples’ houses are too dry. Various decorations, sparkles and lights make the tree exquisite to look at.
The main evergreen species grown here include balsam fir, Fraser fir, Scottish pine, and white spruce. The firs have soft, flattened needles that are dark green and pleasantly aromatic. The Scottish pines have excellent needle retention. White spruces have a good shape but you may find spruce needles to be “spiky” compared to the “friendly” fir or “personable” pine. Quebec Christmas tree plantations also export millions of dollars worth of trees to the U.S.A., Latin America, and the Caribbean. “In pure Quebec tradition, come for a ride on a hay wagon pulled by a tractor. This will take you directly to the [Christmas tree] plantation to choose the tree of your dreams. One of our happy leprechauns [i.e. farm employees dressed in funny costumes] will be pleased to cut that tree for you with his saw. Back at the farm, you can warm up at our barn with some good button soup while your children give Santa their wish lists. Relive all the magic of Christmas and watch your kids’ eyes light up,” one Christmas tree farmer wrote to us by email.
Prices start at $30 per tree—regardless of the size—at Barry and Mary Cooper’s farm near Mirabel Airport. “People can cut their own tree, but usually ask for our staff to cut it for them, says Mary Cooper. “For their $30, customers get their tree hauled back to the garage, the tree is netted, and they can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate or coffee together with biscuits.” Cooper also indicates that customers can bring their dogs along for the adventure, but must keep the dogs on leash. The farm is open seven days a week, but customers are advised to call first on weekdays. Like many small businesses, this Christmas Tree farm accepts only cash payments.
Because the experience often takes two hours plus travel time, families with young children are best to wait until after naptime. It’s best to verify the height of your ceiling before you go to cut a tree (trees look smaller against the sky). A roof rack will help get the tree home safely, but farmers also often provide assistance in attaching trees to cars without roof racks. Many plantations have ‘shaking machines’ that will vibrate loose needles off the trees and watching this machine in action is part of the fun.
How to care for tree once it is cut? Quinn advises leaving it outdoors for as long as possible, standing upright and out of direct sunshine. Once the “butt” of the tree dries out, it can’t absorb any more water. When you bring the tree indoors, make a fresh cut on the “butt” and put it in water, either in a bucket or a special tree holder. Adding a splash of 7-Up to the water can help preserve the tree. It is normal for most trees to shed a few needles. And a warning: if the tree does dry up, it has become very flammable.
Barry & Mary Cooper,
501 côte St-Paul,
Saint-Colomban Québec (near Mirabel Airport)
2495 boul. Perrot sud
Notre-Dame de l’Île-Perrot Québec
J7V 8P4 514-453-1510
By: John Symon – email@example.com