AROUND THE NEK - Christmas is on its way and many of you may be struggling to find that perfect tree. But in order to create the perfect tree, it can take up to 10 years or even longer before it’s ready to take home.
A process that a local tree farm, High Reach Farm, uses is called "stump culture."
“We don’t plant trees, we grow one Christmas tree after another off of a stump, which is two to three feet up in the air and has branches attached to it,” says High Reach Farm owner, Steve Parker.
A lot of High Reach Farm’s trees date back to the 80’s, when the first stump was planted. After the stump grows into a tree, Parker keeps a couple of branches that he believes can turn into another tree, and cuts down the larger part that would then be taken home. This ends up leaving the reminiscences of a stump, with a couple of branches off of it.
“A lot of people feel guilty about killing trees, so this is a good method for that,” says Parker.
This allows High Reach's trees to be herbicide free, and the roots to grow a strong base in the ground since they are not continuously cut down each year. However, in addition to all of this, pruning brings another factor. Pruning is the process which keeps the tree thick and cone shaped. Each branch of a tree is looking for sunlight and without pruning, they would grow toward the sun, rather then staying compact like a cone.
“Almost every month of the year I’m out here doing a little bit of pruning,” says Parker.
High Reach Farm is home to over 3-thousand balsam and fraser fir trees, which he maintains year round for those looking to get a tree for the Christmas season.
“I think the trees are great. I’m a little bit of a Christmas tree connoisseur. I like the way he sheers them, they’re a little looser, not too tight, and to me that’s a lot better of a tree” says Richard Degreenia, a Plant Operations Director at NVRH who got a tree from Steve’s farm.
High Reach Farm is open each weekend through December 20th.