Oregon is the world’s largest producer of Christmas trees. There are over 70,000 acres of Christmas trees in Oregon, and each acre can sustain roughly 2,000 trees. Over 10 million trees are harvested and shipped around the world every year.
I live on a Christmas tree farm–right in the middle of thousands of beautiful green trees—and this season’s harvest began just a few days ago. I’ve been on the outskirts of tree harvesting for the past 24 years because my daughter and her family have been growing, maintaining, harvesting and transporting them to Southern California for that long, but this year, in October, I actually moved to one of the properties and have a little
cottage amongst the trees.
Four days ago, the cutting began. I woke up to bright sunshine and the sound of a buzzing chainsaw. The sunshine was wonderful because November is a rainy month in Oregon, and usually tree harvest time is a very soggy, muddy event. To have sunshine is truly a blessing for everyone involved.
I went from window to window trying to see where the buzzing chainsaw was coming from, then spotted my daughter and her friend falling trees right outside my living room window. I quickly dressed and climbed into my bright purple rubber boots bought especially for this occasion, and hurried out the door. I didn’t want to miss anything since this year it was happening in MY yard! I wanted to be a part of the action.
I walked along as they cut the beautifully manicured trees, one by one. Most of the trees were quite tall, in the eight to fourteen-foot and taller range. Each tree, a perfect shape, full and round and ready to decorate without having to trim a single limb. No need to look for the best side to face outward, the whole tree was equally symmetrical
As we walked the acreage, I thought about the Christmas trees of my childhood, many years ago. Each year, my Dad and I would pick out a tree from the local Fire Department lot, the place that always had the best selection of trees and the very tallest and finest tree on the lot was never over $5.00!
Sometimes it took a long time to find a tree that didn’t have big empty spaces here and there, or one that had at least one side that was full and looked decent. Some trees had two or three tops or maybe none at all or if it had one that would be good for the tree top ornament to be on, it usually wasn’t very straight or it was too weak to hold even the lightest of ornaments. I remember my mother putting a ‘splint’ on the upward branch at the top of the tree to make it strong and straight enough to hold the star or whatever we used that year for the decoration on top of the tree.
If the tree had an area of missing branches, my Dad would take the extra greenery that he cut from the bottom of the tree and try to stuff it in to look like growing branches where the real tree branches were missing. And, if all else failed, there was always the aluminum tinsel icicles and garland to fill in gaping holes.
The Christmas trees that are growing just outside my windows will never know ‘splints’ or have to be in hidden in corners to hide uneven sides. No need to use tricks to cover bare areas or hunt for a place to hold the crowning star on top of the tree. These beautifully, cultured trees can stand in full glory in the center of any room looking magnificent from every angle. The Christmas trees of today are perfect, just as they are!