It is that time of year. Christmas trees start earning their shape. Cathy Isom tells us about the hard work happening on the farm right now, so we can enjoy big another holiday in a matter of months. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
While we are relaxing and enjoying the summer cookouts and the crackling of fireworks across this land of ours, right now in many parts of the country, the nation’s Christmas tree farmers are hard at work. Did I just say Christmas? Yep, it’s only a little more than 5 months away!
We start trimming the trees and start getting a perfect shape on em’ for the customers.
John Tillman is a Christmas Tree Farmer from Washington State.
The hottest part of the summer is when farmers like Tillman and Texas tree grower, Beth Walterscheidt, are busy using machete-like hand tools to shape and shear the trees others use a motorized trimmer.
The trees don’t grow naturally in our little Christmas tree shapes, so we have to do the shearing, that is the hot work.
A lot of hot work and hard work. For example, on Jim Gelson’s Virginia farm:
About 25,000 trees and I gotta have em done in 35 days.
And he does it all by himself. He’s been a Christmas tree farmer for many, many years and explains why he’s out in the heat doing it by himself.
You can’t hire people to shear trees. It has a lot of hand-eye coordination and uh any time you train somebody they will ruin 2 and 3 hundred trees. Just in the training process. And if you only get a year out of them it isn’t even worth it.
The top Christmas Tree producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington.
I’m Cathy Isom…