Tag-Along Thursday, My Tree Comes Home

Come along on the trip to the farm, via my slide show, to bring my tall, open branched, yet designer thin, Canaan Fir home. It is thin because it has to go into my dining room.

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I have had my eye on this tree for over three years. Each year opting for a very large Grand or Noble Fir. They are much showier trees and fit the living room nicely. This tree was smaller then, at about nine feet. The right height for my space. But at twelve feet now, I have other plans for it as you may already know watching the slide show to the last image.

The dining room is a wider space, yet has so many windows and doors that placing a large tree impedes circulation through the space. In magazines, they stage a space, often with disregard for passage or seating function. It makes the nicest shot and gets in the most information about the space. But in a real situation, you select what is space suitable.

So we start out at the farm on a brisk, yet sunny morning at 7:30 am. I arrive and am the only one around. I start my job of making wreaths for opening at 12 noon. I take a last look to make sure my tagged tree is still in the field. All night I worried that by tagging it, some other family was going to come along with a saw and claim it because they saw the bright white tag hanging on it, thinking it was special. This is not my real job of course, but I have so much fun working here at Christmas, I would almost do it for free. You will see why after I post the weekend images.

Anyway at noon break, I got one of Santa’s Helpers to bring a chain saw and cut it for me. Thank goodness, because I did not want to do it. The tree slayer, sorry, I mean Santa’s Helper, quickly felled my tree and there was the poor stump staring up at me.

It was loaded onto the little wagon and taken back to the tree prep area. First, my helper shook the tree. All the debris and little bugs came flying out.

Then my tree gets put into the baler. A tiny little hole is at the far end as the tree gets squished into a transportable shape. I have a picture to show you of a 20 foot tree getting put through this machine. We all stopped what we were doing to watch it, all wishing we had a camera on hand. I had my iPhone and got a shot. I will post it on the weekend when they have their busiest days and I am working very hard. I will have loads of photos I hope.

Well, back to my tree. My helper shoves and pulls my tree through the baler and at the other end, positions the netting.

But wait. My tree needs to be shorter than 12 feet. I have my helper cut off three and a half feet for an eight and a half-foot tree. So what do I do with the waste. I make three wreaths out of it. A very economical use of the whole tree.

The next step is drilling a hole in the bottom of the tree for my pin stand. A machine does this job nicely and the tree is plumb. Last year I forgot to get it drilled. My nine foot Frasier was already home and I am so mad at myself for forgetting.

Just try to do this yourself!!!! Not. I get out the half-inch drill and largest bit, and start boring away. You can tell by my fresh-cut shot that the hole is bigger than one half-inch. I was working at this for over one hour. Taking the tree in and out again because I cut it crooked each time. I said many bad words to myself and about myself. So, I did not forget this year.

One guy this year brought his tree back because he forgot. If I did not live so far away, I would have done that too, but mine was already off my truck. It is also a real pain to get it back up on the roof rack and tie it down. I was so mad at myself…

The helper then loaded it into my jeep, and it just fit with the hatch window closed.  That made for a toastier ride home.

Once home, I sawed off the bottom inch for a fresh cut and trimmed up the branches. I brought it in and removed the netting, setting my tree free. I watered it and now it awaits my tree decor. I will go up to the attic and maybe outside in the yard. I have some dried hydrangea just calling to be used. I will get a move on to get my trees posted, but next…

My post will talk about tree care. I also want to discuss real tree vs. and artificial trees. This has so many people divided. Me, I use both and I can show you how to make an artificial wreath or tree become real. Sort of anyway. It is the best of both worlds.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
This entry was posted in Christmas, Christmas Trees, Decor, garden, Holidays, Tag Along Thursday. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Tag-Along Thursday, My Tree Comes Home

  1. Love the slide show. We had the same experience with the drilling. We tried doing it ourselves when we realized we had forgotten, but ended up driving an hour round trip to have the tree farm do it. Cutting down your tree at a farm is the definition of buying local and preserving family farms. We get ours from a multi-generational family run farm that has preserved all their land from development. When we first went there 20 years ago it was in the middle of no where and now it is completely surrounded by subdivisions. It is really important to support local tree farms instead of the parking lot stands that bring in trees from other places. Carolyn

    • My round trip is an hour and ten minutes. Had I known it was going to take me that long of aggravation, I would have done the same thing and went back. You live and learn.

      It is worthwhile to support the local growers. After a tree is cut, a tiny little one is placed relatively next to the stump. These trees grow a little over a foot a year, so they are replaced in seven years to salable size. There is so much value in a cut tree, which I am going to post soon. My friend has three tree farms, so he is constantly planting replacements.

  2. Edith Hope says:

    Dear GWGT, I shall so miss being in Budapest for Christmas where my tree comes from the Christmas market, just opposite my apartment on Christmas Eve……..NEVER before!! I love the fragrance of a real tree and am sure that your farm tree will look absolutely wonderful in your dining room.

    • How romantic and exotic to be in Budapest for Christmas. I can see how you would miss being there. And the markets would be so fun to shop. Someday I hope to travel as you do and experience different cultures and traditions.

      The fragrance of a real tree brings back childhood memories and that is why I always have one at Christmas.

  3. Alice Joyce says:

    For some reason I’m thinking about vintage silvery trees from long ago.

    I’ll look forward to seeing your tree and vicariously / through cyberspace / enjoying the scent!

    When I bought trees some years ago, I’d always pick the most pathetic specimen… the ‘Charlie Brown’ tree with scarcely any bulk to it. Feeling sorry for them, I suppose, and wanting to give life with hand-made ornaments. Now I decorate the house without a tree as a centerpiece. Cheers

    • I too like the thinner and sparely branched trees. It is actually easier to decorate. I just decorated a silver tree for a not for profit facility this past week. It was my first silver tree ever. I actually liked it very much. It made me want to get one. I also remember my parents had one when I was very small. It was metal and made a funny sound when moved.

  4. lifeshighway says:

    yummm, I love the smell of a fresh tree in the house. Thank you for taking us along on your venture. Can’t wait to see it trimmed.

  5. Very stylish – look forward to seeing it “dressed”. I miss having a real tree for Christmas, nothing quite beats the smell. We used to wander round to the corner shop and pick one out, with much discussion between ourselves and the owner. No we have to opt for an artificial tree, because of allergies. Its a very good one, but just doesn’t have that smell… Great use of tree leftovers!

    • I am surprised how many people suffer from allergies, but I learned that after the tree is in the house , mold develops as it is warm and expelling the moisture. This is when the allergies kick up.

      Nothing beats going to pick out your tree. I always know my tree way ahead of time. This tree was ‘mine’ over three years ago. 😀

  6. Christine B. says:

    One of the joys of having a real tree at our home is the excitement of seeing previous residents wakeup and move out. Usually it’s just smallish spiders, but we have had a few critters that are quite unwelcome. Lately, we have taken to cutting spruce trees from ditches (where they have to be cut for safety reasons anyway), but they resemble the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

    This year (as we haven’t a house yet) we told the kids we’re decorating a lamp.

    Christine in Alaska

    • I know what you mean. This year making wreaths, one branch had over forty spiders, two ants and an unidentified bug. The others did not believe me until they came over and saw all the critters. Bless that shaker machine. If I forgot to tell the helper, my house would have had all these little guys in it.

      Funny on decorating the lamp. I do not have kids so not real traditions at my home. The husband never even cares or even looks at my trees. He is a real scrooge.

  7. I think Frazer Firs are the best trees for rooms – they have such a lovely bluey colour and are just perfect for hanging decorations on – though I don’t have a real christmas tree as I see enough of them throughout the month of December. I see you have a nice coloured netting machine – we jokingly call ours the birthing machine as there’s a lot of pushing and pulling to get those big trees through it. Once we had someone lying on the top of the machine along with many pushing and pulling – it must have been a 15 foot tree that day. I’ve got photos of my son being pushed through it a few years ago and getting netted. lol

    • Hi Rosie. Aren’t those machines great. I have seen the guys do some pretty weird things to get those big trees though them. I have to tell them what you call your machine. That is funny and they will probably start calling it that too. You have to post your son being netted. I am sure that will be popular.

  8. Eliza says:

    “The tree slayer” hahaha! Not that I was planning to before, but I definitely don’t want that job now. I’m glad you were able to get 3 wreaths out of the trimmed parts! It reminds me of the children’s book “Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree” (which I highly highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t read it).

  9. One says:

    I enjoyed watching your video. We don’t do such things here; carrying cut trees into the house. So, it’s good that I get to see the process here. You eyed this particular tree for 3 years? Why?

  10. Dear Donna, Your tree is lovely! You are ahead of me in holiday preparation … we are waiting for the grandchildren to come for a visit, then we will take them to the tree farm. The children get to choose the tree and we like to cut it down ourselves. Now I’ve seen your slide show, I can’t wait. Pamela x

  11. PatioPatch says:

    Dear Donna, I’ve been following your Christmas decorating and tree choosing with awe at the sheer magnitude of your celebratory efforts. Your latest tree must feel so special as you’ve waited 3 years for it. If I were to do a video of my Christmas tree prep it would be over in seconds – go to garden, lift pot and bring into flat. Neither space nor light for anything large, I have an ongoing, slow growing unidentified conifer… and I love it!


    p.s. great idea re the recycled wreaths

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