Several families headed to Jones Family Farms in Shelton on this rainy Sunday morning in search of their perfect Christmas tree, just days before the gifts underneath will be unwrapped. More than 10,000 trees spread across 2,000 acres on the farm, several of which are ready to be cut and kept this holiday season.
Farm manager Tom Harbinson says, “people have come here year after year. We like to say, ‘memories are always in season’ here at the farm.”
Harbinson understands it can be overwhelming selecting the ideal tree among multiple varieties, but reassures that the “perfect” tree is all about preference.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says Harbinson. “When you get out to the field, you’re going to see the tree that you like, but one important thing to know is the right height.” He advises measuring both the ceiling and the tree stand before heading out the door.
As for cutting the tree, Harbinson says it’s essential to know – for both safety and success – the slope of the tree. “Cut a cheat cut on the bottom side, so that you then finish it off at the top. That way if it’s leaning over, it’s not going to pinch your blade.”
Experts suggest bringing or using a tarp on site to slide the tree down and across any hills. The stand that’s selected should correspond to the tree’s height and size. When placing it in the stand, Harbinson suggests having a helper to keep the tree level while any screws and knobs are inserted.
Once standing, clean water is all the tree will need. Harbinson advises against old wives tales that suggest placing a penny in the water, or any other materials. “When you bring the tree to the home, initially, it’s going to want to acclimate to your home’s environment, so it will drink up a lot more water initially when you bring it to the house,” says Harbinson.
Michael Giovannini and his family harvested their own tree this year. Both he and his sons came to the farm, despite the rain, to keep their family tradition alive. “Whether you’re coming afar or close, it’s definitely worth harvesting your own tree at Christmas,” says Giovannini.
Harbinson suggests that families who are coming to cut a tree from the field should arrive to Jones Family Farm before 4:00 p.m.