The trees at Christmas Creek Ranch begin their journey as a tiny seedling in this hot house where they will spend the next two years. Here they are nurtured, watered and fed just the right mix of nutrients until they are ready to be planted.
The workers at Christmas Creek Ranch will plant about 1400 trees per acre. Other tree farms plant as many as 2000 per acre to maximize profits, however they can become overcrowded and can suffer in quality.
The trees will spend many years at the ranch and there is a lot of work to be done to produce the finest quality for the holiday season. It can take 8 to 9 years to produce a 7 to 8 foot tree. Different locations at the ranch contain trees at different stages of development.
The bottom of the trees are trimmed. This produces a strong, clean trunk for the
Christmas tree stand and increases stability.
Care is taken to ensure that the tip of each
tree is straight. If the tip of the tree isn't perfect, a new tip is created from one of the existing top braches. Over time, the tied up
branch becomes a new tip.
Each tree at Christmas Creek Ranch is trimmed to the ideal shape using a razor
sharp knife. The frequent trimming of each tree guarantees the conical, Christmas tree shape we've all come to know as the perfect Christmas tree.
Over several years, as the trees become taller, stilts are used to make sure our
workers are on the same level. Some of the trees are 10 to 12 feet tall and the stilts allow workers to optimize the shape and quality of each tree
Just before harvest, each tree is graded for quality using the time honored, quality control standards of Christmas Creek Ranch.
The tree harvest is a very busy time at Christmas Creek Ranch. Employees work
around the clock to make sure each tree is cut and shipped quickly for the utmost in freshness.
A bailing machine is used to wrap the tree and prepare it for shipping
Bailing the trees serves a duel purpose. First of all it protects the branches from harm during the shipping process. It also makes the trees much easier to move to the loading area.
The trees are loaded onto special trailers for transport to the loading area.
The trees at Christmas Creek Ranch are always transported in covered trucks. This protects the trees as well as preserving moisture and aroma.