Christmas has started in Millstream.
Ruth MacLeod, who owns MacLeod’s Christmas Tree Farm, has already begun the process of selling approximately 2,000 trees that will be transported to brighten homes in the state of Massachusetts and this weekend will officially open for those eager to get their Christmas tree up.
There will be lots of good trees for people to choose from when they come out to the lot she and her husband started 45 years ago and she’s continued on after his death.
“I think we had a good growing season. We had rain when we need it. A lot of other areas were lacking in rain, but we seemed to be the lucky ones.”
Some people have already called to place an order for a tree. Others will come out now to tag a tree they want to keep for later.
The majority will come out with their families though and search for their own.
“It’s hard to pick out a tree for someone else, because everyone has an opinion of what makes a good tree,” MacLeod said.
While people usually have an idea of the size of tree they can fit in their home, most end up travelling home with one that’s too big.
“They grow when they get in the house,” she said with a laugh, noting that even she had to take two feet off her tree last year to make it fit.
Operating a Christmas tree lot is a lot of work and includes long hours shearing the trees over several years before they’re ready to sell. Harvesting them often involves working in cold and wet weather. But for her it’s worth all the hard work when she sees families from the third or four generation returning to get a tree.
“I enjoy seeing the people come back with smiles on their face.”
On the weekends, hot chocolate and cider are served to add to the holiday cheer.
MacLeod also sells wreaths on the side which are made from branches of trees that don't shape up properly.
While there are a few pine trees on the farm the majority is the native balsam fir.
“It’s always been my favourite,” she said. “It has such a nice scent.”
MacLeod’s Christmas Tree Farm choose and cut will be open Thursday to Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
from Nov 18 to Dec 22. It is located at 799 Millstream Rd.
Tree Care Tips
• Protect your tree from sun, wind and salt on the drive home.
• If you won’t be decorating for a few days, keep the tree in an unheated garage or porch. If this is not an option, keep the tree outdoors but away from the drying effects of wind and sun.
• Before bringing your tree indoors, make a fresh cut of at least 5 cm off the base of the trunk so the tree can absorb water easily. Care for your tree as you would fresh flowers!
• Place your tree in a stand that holds at least 5 litres (1 gallon) of water.
• Water your tree daily with tap water. No additives are needed! Some, like sugar, can be detrimental.
• Don’t let the water level drop below the base of the tree or the trunk could seal over, minimizing further water uptake.
• Don’t place your tree near heat sources.
• Use only CSA-approved lighting sets and when purchasing new ornaments, check the labels to determine flame retardant ratings. Check lights and sockets every year. A well-watered tree will never burn, but faulty lights cannot make the same claim.
• Turn your tree lights off at bedtime and when you leave the room.