A year in the life of a Christmas Tree Farmer
January to March
The first job of the year is to remove the lower branches of all Nordman Firs that have been growing for four years, that’s around 7,000 trees. This helps to create the ideal shape. In
early spring, various plants and creatures are waking from their winter dormancy, including aphids. We target problem areas with an aphid specific formula, at a time when natural predators are yet to arrive. We also go on Christmas decoration buying trips across the country.
April to June
As the temperature rises so do the weeds, these need to be controlled. In May, the buds burst and growth starts and we get very busy. These new shoots can be very tender before they harden to become new timber and can be easily damaged. To improve the shape of the trees we snap off any unwanted new growth. We do this on around 25,000 trees each year.
July to September
In July, we need to shape our 1,500 Norway Spruce by shearing and pruning. This variety is a more vigorously growing tree so can be pruned hard. We repair and improve fencing to stop
rabbits, badgers and deer damaging the trees. We also prepare the ground, around two acres, and mark out ready for planting. This needs to be accurately marked out in straight lines to ensure for equally spaced trees. Each year we plant around 7-8,000 trees by hand.
October to December
We mark up all trees required for harvest and sale. They need to be farmed to prevent them impeding each other’s growth and to leave enough to become larger stock for the future. We then receive the decorations ordered earlier in the year and prepare the shop ready for the grand opening. When the sales period begins we are rushed off our feet, making festive wreaths, harvesting and selling the trees, hopefully adding a little something to your Christmas experience.
Trees - Essential for Life
Tree Plantations started in 1993
We started planting trees back in 1993 with 1,500 Nordman Fir, then 3,000 in 1994 and then 5,000 in 1995. We now plant approximately 8,500 per year. The majority of trees growing on our plantations are Nordman Fir but in recent years we have also planted an increasing number of Norway Spruce.
Tree Plantations 2007-2017
Each year we plant approximately 7,000 Nordman Fir and 1,500 Norway Spruce. The trees planted then run for an approximate 10-year rotation before we replant.
Tree Plantations 2011-2016
Park Field Plantation holds the most recent years’ trees. We have split plantings between our site at Middle Hill Farm and our land at Kittesford. Historically Park Field belonged to Bindon House and would have been the grounds for the country house, ringed by wrought iron railings.
Opening Times 2017
Open every day from Friday, November 17 at 10am until Saturday, December 23. Full opening hours here.
Late Night Openings
On December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15 we will be open until 8pm with musical entertainment.