Complete your holiday traditions by selecting a locally grown Christmas Tree.
Maine Christmas Tree Association members, along with Real Maine, encourage you to choose a locally-grown tree this holiday season.
Buying a Real Maine Christmas tree means your family will enjoy a fresh and fragrant centerpiece for your celebrations while supporting a local farm.
Christmas trees take 4 to 10 years to mature and are shaped by expert farmers through annual pruning. When selecting your tree, do a freshness test by gently grasping a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pulling it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. If selecting a pre-cut tree, shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive number of green needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal for all trees.
Don’t miss your opportunity to experience a Real Maine Christmas. Visit a Real Maine Christmas Tree farm to pick out the right tree for you. Here are some ideas to get you started, be sure to visit www.RealMaine.com to find a Christmas tree farm near you.
At Piper Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Newburgh, they have spent weeks prepping 30 acres of fields for visitors to come cut down their trees, tying hundreds of bows for their hand-crafted wreaths, walking the woods to harvest thousands of pounds of evergreen tips for decorating, and stocking their gift shop with handmade ornaments and gifts.
Visitors to Piper Mountain will be able to visit its “big red barn” for homemade doughnuts and local hot cider, along with a free candy cane. The farm will also offer horse-drawn sleigh rides, food trucks, and visits from Santa.
At Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, visitors can experience hot cider, cocoa, and fresh doughnuts, roast marshmallows, and enjoy a wagon ride to the Christmas Tree fields. Those venturing out to cut their own tree can use saws and hand wagons provided by Treworgy and can have their tree baled or drilled and secured to their vehicle if need be. Enjoy an apple cider donut, pizza, or warm beverage in their farm store gift shop.
Real Maine would like to remind you – there are many benefits to a real tree!
Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen. The farms that grow Christmas trees stabilize soil, protect water supplies and provide refuge for wildlife, while creating scenic green belts. On the other hand, artificial trees are a petroleum-based product manufactured primarily in factories. The average family uses an artificial tree for only six years before throwing it away, where it will remain in a landfill.
It is an ecologically sound choice to get a real Christmas tree every year. Christmas trees are grown on farms just like any other agricultural crop. To ensure a constant supply, Christmas tree growers plant one to three new seedlings for every tree they harvest. This means Christmas trees are a sustainable crop.
Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes (note: never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace). There may even be a goat farm in your area that will accept Christmas trees post-holiday to feed to their goats! Some communities use Christmas trees to make effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially at beaches and on riverbeds. Christmas trees can also be used to make bird feeders.
MAKE FAMILY MEMORIES
Many Maine Christmas tree farms encourage folks to choose and cut their own trees (or choose their trees and get some help from staff with the cutting!). You may find bonfires, photo opportunities, or even hot chocolate to enjoy.
TREE CARE TIPS (FOR MORE, GO TO WWW.MAINECHRISTMASTREE.COM):
- Keep your tree in a sheltered, unheated area such as a porch or garage to protect it from the wind and sun until you are ready to display and decorate it
- Make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in a stand. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle or into a v-shape.
- To display the trees indoors, use a stand that fits your tree and has an adequate water capacity for the tree. Stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
- Place the tree away from heat sources and out of direct sun if possible
- Check the water daily. Check the stand to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
Real Maine is the state’s official agriculture and agritourism promotions program. From holiday gifts and decorations to the perfect ingredients for your holiday meals and celebrations, plan your agricultural experience with Real Maine. Visit www.RealMaine.com to connect to farms, food, and agriculture throughout Maine.