Monday, December 03, 2012

The Perfect Tree

I will be the first to admit it, I am a picky Christmas tree person. I know this is hard for you all to believe but in Colorado the cut trees were so-so. In the past they had not shipped in trees from other states and the pickings were slim. I never did like those spindly prickly white pines that were not even a “Christmas green” but a sickly pea green complete with cones. The Douglas firs (when you could find them) had branches too wimpy to hold ornaments.

A few years before we built the cabin we would head up to our land and cut a tree. Our house that we had built had cathedral ceilings and I always had a penchant for a really BIG tree. One year we cut one from the land that dwarfed our Tahoe. It was so big it was hanging off the roof so that we couldn’t see very well out the side windows. People kept passing us and giving us friendly waves and thumbs up. We had to anchor it to the wall! But it was probably the biggest and most beautiful tree we’ve ever had.

After a few years we started to feel bad about cutting the trees so we bought a really high quality (expensive) 12-foot pre-lit artificial tree. It was a bear to put together since the sections were really heavy. Ugh. When we moved we brought it with us figuring we could always use it by taking a section or two out since our ceilings here are only 8-foot.

The first year we quickly realized the artificial tree was just not going to work. The fresh tree options here in New Jersey were staggering! So many pretty trees! The first year we bought one from a chain garden store, Max is Back. It was a nice tree and it only took a few minutes to pick one out. The second and third and fourth year we cut our own from Bear Swamp Farm which is close by. It’s not a tree farm, just 15 acres of kind of rugged terrain in which they have scattered many varieties of trees. Some are in rows, other are not. It was not as easy to find a tree that fit the standard but we always came home with a pretty one. It was fun but we got lazy (or something) in 2010 and just bought one from our local garden center here in town.

Last year we cut one from an actual tree farm. It was pretty much perfect. Each tree looked just like the next and we wandered around dazed and tree-blind.

When Rick asked where we were getting our tree from this year I said I didn’t want to go back to the tree farm. He said why not? they were all perfect. I know, I said. That’s the problem … it was too perfect. Trimmed and “styled” to perfection like it stepped out of a tree salon. Plus, I wanted one a bit fuller.

So this year when I got an email from a family-run garden center that we like to support Glenwild Garden Center advertising “old-fashioned” Fraser firs that had not been trimmed to within an inch of their lives, I knew we had to check them out.

Saturday found us driving down Otter Hole Road (one of our favorite drives that takes us past several small lake communities) to Glenwild. They were having their Holiday Open House so the parking lot was full of cars and plenty of shoppers. We parked and headed to the cut trees. A young man that was working on the lot pointed us in the direction of the rack where the “old-fashioned” firs were. The first one I saw looked really good leaning on the rack and he pulled it out and stood it up for us. I could not believe my eyes. This tree was perfect! I walked all around it and not a bad side was too be found. Could it really be this easy? Was this my tree? I said YES immediately to this tree. He carried it off to slice off the bottom few branches and enough of the trunk to refresh it, bound it up in netting and even put it on top of the truck for us. I also found a beautiful wreath. Done and done!

Here it is before decorating. It hardly needs anything! I think it’s gorgeous!

IMG 6002

Decorated updates to follow ...

We put an ad on Craigslist for the big artificial tree saying it was “free” to any charity. A priest from a church near Paterson was the lucky recipient of our expensive foray into the world of fake trees.


You’ll have it decorated by the time I get home, right?

Haha, very funny, dear!

She’s a gorgeous tree! Glad you didn’t put it in a bucket (HAHA).  IT kind of looks like ours, except much bigger. Can wait to see her all dolled up!

What do the dogs think? Santa-Dog is coming!!

Thanks, Bigsis,  I think so too! And hahaha on the bucket. I hope I have more class that. wink Alex was happy to see the tree but Bella was scared of it when we brought it in. eBay likes it the best.

That’s a great tree! We got a tree the last couple of years, but this year we’re skipping it since we’ll be in Florida for Christmas.

Kudos for giving your tree to the church. That was a great way to dispose of it charitably.

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