Hunting Christmas

Hope with Christmas Tree

Hope and I went out hunting Christmas trees in the south field. They graze out there on pasture, getting plump and full figured, not at all a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree variety. Ours are healthy, free-ranged, pastured spruce trees that have never seen the confinement conditions of a bag, box or tree farm.

An interesting myth about Christmas trees is that cutting them kills them. This is not true. Cutting down a Christmas tree is more like giving the tree a hair cut. It then regrows from the base. The tree is not the thing you see above ground but rather mostly an organism that lives deep in the ground. Within a few years this spruce tree will be this big again, ready to join us in the house for another celebration of the season.

When I cut the tree I left a few branches down at the base which will give the tree a boost, a head start on growing come next spring when it wakes up with the warming season. The tree will put up a new leader and burst upward, perhaps adding 18″ to two feet of height each year. Because they are in the soil enriched by our chickens, pigs, ducks and sheep these trees grow better than those in the nutrient poor forest. It’s not just the nutrients from the animal’s manure and urine but also because the livestock are trimming down the competition which allows the Christmas trees to grow in full sunlight.

If you look in the background, just to the left of Hope’s head, you can see a Christmas tree that we have harvested three times over the past decade. Soon that tree will be ready for us to harvest it’s top again. Perhaps next year it will once again grace our home with it’s scent and color to remind us that the green season will return after the darkest day of Winter Solstice.

Outdoors: 4°F/4°F 2″ Snow
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: Goldburgs razor: the most improbable, chaotic, complex answer is the funniest answer.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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