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County Ag Report: It’s time to pick your Christmas tree

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 1:54 PM EST
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) - Let’s SPRUCE up your Thursday with a little County Ag. We were hoping to keep our Christmas Tree story FIR after Thanksgiving, but it seems everyone is PINE-ing for some holiday joy and getting their trees. So in this week’s County Ag Report, Rhian Lowndes learned more about how Christmas Trees end up in your home.

“Every region has a different species of tree that’s native to their area that they like to grow. In Northern Maine and most northern tier states that’s the balsam fir.”

Mark Goughan, co-owner of Goughan’s berry farm, sticks with the local breed of Christmas tree, but you can put presents under a spruce, a pine, even a cypress or a cedar. Goughan says his native balsam firs take about 10 years to go from soil to living room

“We go out in the woods and we look for a nice spot, not too shady not too sunny, and we literally will take a stapler and mark the north side of that little tree, we dig it up, we bring it out, we plant them in rows and we put that staple facing north so the tree is acclimated to growing that way.”

They plant them six feet apart, and Goughan says the next 2 or 3 years are spent weeding. Then comes the pruning to ensure that perfect Christmas tree shape until the tree is ready to make its holiday debut.

“A Christmas tree generally should have three to four good frosts on it, 28-29 degrees. Once you have 3 or 4 nights like that, it will help set those needles...once they’re set you cut that tree you give it lots of water, you give it all the water it can take and that tree will last right straight through to January.”

Goughan says most people want a nice 6-foot tree...

“I went out into the natural woods to cut down a thirty-foot tree once...but holy that’s a lot of work.”

But if you just want a tree big enough for Santa to notice when he comes down the chimney...you can probably just visit your local tree farm. Rhian lowndes newssoruce8

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