Even though many of us are stuck inside, it is officially spring time here in Oregon and that means a lot of work is going into getting our trees ready for their growing season which starts in May.
Like most farmers, our days starts early. Our field manager Micheal is up and about as soon as the sun is on the field. In the early spring that tends to mean lots of frost and perhaps a light dusting of snow on our young trees. The cold temperatures don’t stop Micheal and our crew, bundled up to work in the cold early mornings. This early morning work is important because winds tend to be slower, and grounds moist, which is optimal us to deliver fertilizer to our trees.
Most of our work right before and during spring involves lots of counting, counting, more counting and grading . All of our fields get counted so we can make sure we are growing enough beautiful trees for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.
Another thing we have to keep an eye on over the winter and into spring are elk. With elk populations searching for sustenance, the tips of our baby trees are one of their favorites. One of the only things we are able to do to keep our baby trees from getting munched on it put individual bud caps on every one of our younger trees.
These caps are each secured into place by hand and keep the tasty tips of the trees safe from getting eaten. Tedious it maybe but it is just one of the many small details that go into the growth of beautiful Oregon Christmas trees. Trees that do end up as a tasty snack for elk tend to have issues with growing into the big beautiful trees we all love.
Planting is the largest activity on any farm this time of year. Luckily for us, our seedlings can go in the ground even if there is still a chance of frost or snow. This year alone we have planted 8550 new seedlings. All by hand. It is a lot of hard work but we love to do it. The care we put into each and every one of our trees is just on of the many factors that make Santa and Sons stand apart from other Christmas tree lots. This may sound like a lot of work and trees but according to the National Christmas Tree Association, “there are close to 350 million Real Christmas Trees currently growing on Christmas Tree farms in the U.S. alone, all planted by farmers.”
My grandparents were long time Christmas Tree farmers in Oregon! I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog! I was reading today that the elk and deer numbers were down this year; do you think that’s true? I had no idea that they could harm Christmas Tree growths (outside of trampling) as they would consider the tops a form of forage!
I’m not sure how accurate the ODFW numbers are but they do state that the elk populations are down a bit. I’m really glad you enjoyed our post. We hope to keep the fun, insightful information coming.
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Looking forward to following along with your adventure and supporting your industry in the future!
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