Your Christmas

Centrepiece

A beautiful tree is a true festive focal point. Be proud of yours.

At Grange Farm Christmas Barn, we’ve been planting and growing our own Christmas trees for over 25 years. Our 15-acre plantation starts right next to the Christmas Barn, so our trees are about as fresh as it’s possible to be. We grow five different types of tree, in a range of sizes, and cut them early in the morning each day.

As long-standing members of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, we know how to cultivate and tend our trees. A typical 5-foot tree will be six years old. Some of our very large trees, used in large luxury properties, hotels and stately homes, are as much as 15 years old.

You can’t just plant a sapling, leave it for a few years, then cut it for Christmas. As they grow, our entire stock of trees – some 5,000 of them – need to be pruned and shaped by hand several times a year to ensure the traditional shape you’ll want for your home.

That’s why a Grange Farm Christmas Tree is as good as you can get: fresh, healthy, long-lived after cutting, and shaped exactly the way you expect. We don’t cut all of our trees. Some are available in pots with strong roots, so you can take them home and grow them on year after year.

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Ask Jim, Grange Farm’s Christmas Tree Expert

Farmer Jim Mount heads up the team that plants and cultivates all our trees. He knows his spruces from his pines.

Always make a fresh cut if possible. After time, generally 3 to 6 hours, the cut stump gets air in the plant tissue, which lessens a tree’s water absorption capacity. A fresh cut will reopen the pores that take up water.
Only one half inch is necessary, not one or two inches as is sometimes instructed.
No. This reduces the surface area of plant tissue that absorbs water molecules. Once the water level falls below the exposed surface on a tapered trunk, drying will begin. An angle or “V” cut will require more water depth to cover the cut surface. It also makes the tree more difficult to hold upright in a stand and less stable.
No! Research has shown that plain tap water is best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss. Water holding stands that are kept filled with plain water will extend the freshness of trees for weeks.
Choosing a large capacity stand is one of the most important steps to maintaining your tree’s freshness. Avoid small “coffee cup” stands. Check the water level frequently since trees can drink large amounts of water each day, particularly pre-cut trees during the first week of display. Generally, a tree can use up to one quart of water per day for each inch of stem diameter. Therefore, a stand that will hold a four-inch trunk should hold at least one gallon (4 quarts) of water with the tree in the stand.
There are many different styles of tree stands to choose from, and we have several types for sale in The Barn. The most important characteristic is water capacity. You should also make sure the stand ‘fits’ the tree — if it’s too big or too small it might cause the tree to tip over. Never trim the sides of the trunk to fit it in a stand. Ask us if you need advice.
As our trees are freshly cut, they may not absorb water right away as they won’t have had time to begin drying out. The best indicator of dryness is the tree itself, not the water level in the stand. It’s quite normal for the rate of water absorption to fluctuate from day to day.
Even if a fresh cut was not made the tree will still take up water, but at a reduced rate. Hot tap water in the tree stand can increase the water uptake in some trees. If you’re still concerned, do a freshness test every few days and continue to add water to the stand.
Less than 0.0004% of Real Christmas Trees used each year are ignited in home fires and NEVER has a Real Christmas Tree caused or started a fire.
Although extremely rare, a number of different insects and spiders have been found in Christmas trees. Cleaning and shaking trees before setup is a good idea. If troublesome after setup, the first thing to do is to vacuum. If necessary, household insect sprays specifically labelled for use indoors on ornamental plants and evergreens may also be used; follow the label directions. Make sure you turn off and unplug all tree lighting before any sprays are applied.
The best species is the one YOU like best! We have a number of tree varieties here at The Barn. Come along and have a look too – it’s the best way to find the type that has the most characteristics you desire. And anyway, it’s fun shopping for just the right tree!
The sense of smell is very subjective. Different people smell things differently. If you come along the The Barn and remember to bring your nose, you’ll be able to sample the subtle fragrance differences between the types of tree. Obviously, that fact that they’re freshly cut helps.
It is much better environmentally to use a natural agricultural crop and recycle it after the holidays. Our real Christmas trees are a renewable, recyclable, natural product grown on our farms right next door to The Christmas Barn. It’s a shame that some peolel still think that Christmas trees are cut down from the forest. We grow ours as crops, just like we do with the grasses we grow for hay at Grange Farm. Once we harvest our trees, we plant new seedlings to replace them.
If you need landscape trees anyway, then a rooted tree may be a good option. We harvest and sell these as well as cut trees. Come to The Barn and talk to us about the best potted tree to suit your needs this Christmas and beyond.
Residents of Harborough District who subscribe to the council’s ‘Green Bin’ garden waste collection service can put their trees into that bin. However, be aware that the collection service doesn’t start up again in 2017 until the week commencing 28th February at the earliest. Also note that large trunks and branches will not be accepted by the council’s collection teams. If you need to dispose of your tree sooner than that, a trip to one of your county council’s recycling sites will do the trick. Here’s the link for Leicestershire.
“The freshest trees give the longest life. We cut our trees every morning and take them straight to the Christmas Barn.”
Farmer Jim Mount
“You can see the nearest field of Christmas trees from our car park. Not needing to transport the trees is great for quality and good for the environment.”
Jane Mount