Niagara Gazette

December 2, 2012

Holiday hunting abounds at local tree farms

By Jim Krencik
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — MEDINA — The Christmas season is filled with many visible traditions, but maybe none more so than the avalanche of cars you see driving carefully with an attached present as big as Santa's sleigh.

Local tree nurseries and farms are already launching out hundreds of Christmas tree-carrying vessels each weekend as families throughout the region pick out the centerpiece of their holiday decorations.

Barbara Ball and her husband Scott left Rickard Nursery in Gasport with two trees, one each for their Rochester home's living room and back porch. The Balls were joined by their daughter Ashley and her husband Marc, who grabbed a tree for their Lockport home.

"We've tramped long distances before," said Ball, who brought a pole to make sure the tree didn't stand taller than their ceiling. It helped make her picks. "I liked the size and shape, not too tall."

At Sevenski's Christmas Trees in Medina, it didn't take long for Adeline Castricone to pick out her family's Christmas tree.

"She picks out the best trees," C.J. Castricone said of his six-year-old daughter.

Michelle and Jeff Plummer of Lyndonville went to Roberts Christmas Tree Farm in Shelby for a concolor fir, a variety that is becoming increasingly popular.

"I like the smell and needle length," Michelle said as the tree was baled. "It has stiff branches. The cats don't tip it over.

Sevenski noted that there are many benefits of the tree-growing operations beyond the Christmas cheer. During the year, they provide shelter for animals and return oxygen to the environment while growing on land that's not ideal for other crops. Sheared off branches make good wreaths and unsold trees find use as anchored fish habitats in ponds and as

There are other benefits as well.

"The smell is terrific," said Richard Dorr, the secretary-treasurer of Niagara Produce. The Transit Road business has sold trees from the Carolinas and other big tree producers for more than 50 years, the last 20 inside the shop. "This is a great time of the year, people are happier, more friendly."

Dorr said he had trees being purchased before Thanksgiving, a far cry from years past when the busiest times where right before Christmas Eve.

"We did fake trees for a while," said Castricone, who was glad to have the real thing at his Medina home. "The smell in the house, it brings the Christmas spirit." 

CTFANY Top Ten Tips for Tree Care 1 Keep tree in a cool, shady place like the garage until ready to bring indoors. 2 Saw 1/4 inch off bottom of trunk prior to placing the tree in stand. 3 Make a cut perpendicular to the axis of the stem, not at angles or a v-shaped cut. 4 Make sure to place tree in water-holding stand immediately after making cut. 5 Stand must be able to hold enough water for the size of the tree. 6 Use warm water for the first fill of the stand. 7 Maintain an adequate water level always. Check water level every day. 8 Check water levels twice per day in the first few days. A tree will absorb the most water after it is recently cut and placed in water. 9 Make sure tree is displayed away from heat sources. Always check electrical devices like lights and other decorations before placing on the tree. 10 Avoid spraying preservatives or fire retardants on tree. Some of these products actually increase moisture loss. The most fire-retardant tree is one that is properly watered.