Even among the beautiful trees of Santa and Sons there are a few odd ones out. Though they may not make it to the sales lot as is, they still warm my heart. Today lets take a look at some of the sillier looking trees I found on a trip to the fields back in March, and learn what made them grow their own way.
Let’s start at the top of the tree . In this image you have 3 different tree tops or leaders as they are known in the field. In the first two pictures you see two leaders vying for the top stop, the place of honor holding up your Christmas star or angel. Unfortunately, only one can win. When there are two leaders one must be cut back to allow the other to grow. Otherwise the tree won’t end up with the beautiful triangular Christmas tree shape we have all come to know and love. As you can see in the second and third parts of the image sometimes the leader doesn’t want to follow a straight path. When that happens we go around and tie a bamboo stake to the leader to help it find it’s way, insuring our trees stand tall and straight.
In this image here we have the opposite problem. The left tree has been growing for a few years and a leader has yet to emerge. Causing it to look more like a strange shrub rather then the classic Christmas tree we are all looking for. The right tree has finally started to sprout a leader. It is hard to imagine now but with time and care the rest of this tree will fill in and start to take on the conical shape we are all used to seeing. Sometimes even Christmas trees need a little extra time and patience to grow up just right.
Here we have what is known as a stump culture. Stump cultures happen when you use the the coppice or pollard methods, simply put, cutting a tree or shrub down to it’s base allowing for more new growth. This happens to many types of trees when cut just right. Usually when this happens on Christmas trees, the stump has been cut higher from the ground than usual and under the right conditions it will start to sprout a brand new tree that can grow to full size again. In this instance, when a tree is cut from out field in just the right manners these stump cultures will pop up on their own, when that happens in our fields we will let them grow without much attention and see if they can be used for table top trees. There are even a few Christmas tree farms across the country that use this procedure to keep propagating their farms year after year.
Last but surely not least we have my personal favorite out of the odd balls. Here we see two trees with very different looks that started off very similarly. Two different types of trees that reacted in totally opposite ways to having their lower branches cleared off to promote air flow between the trees and help create the handle which our guys will hold when cutting and moving the trees.
Even in a world of perfectly sheared and pruned trees sometimes nature finds a way to still do its own thing. When that happens all we can do is sit back and enjoy what it has to offer, even if that is just a few laughs at some silly trees.