Local family grows a Christmas tradition

Decorating a Christmas tree is for many a revered activity to do with family or friends at this time of year.

Here is Don Coburn beside one of the many trees from his farm.

Decorating a Christmas tree is for many a revered activity to do with family or friends at this time of year.

It’s an event filled with tradition, that sees many sipping cups of hot chocolate, hanging festive decorations and shimmering tinsel from a tree’s branches, maybe wrapping it in lights, or topping it with a star or an angel.

And for some, part of that tradition is finding the perfect tree before it arrives indoors.

In  the Terrace area, more than 200 trees are personally selected at the U-Cut Christmas tree farm annually. The farm has been owned by the Coburn family since 1982. It spans 50 acres of land planted with a variety of coniferous trees grown specially for this yearly occasion.

Dad Don Coburn said with a smile that many take time cutting their tree, some hemming and hawing over height, fullness and shape to find the perfect one.

Individual cuts usually begin early December, he said.

And for those who don’t travel personally to the farm, U-Cut trees can be found throughout the northwest.

So far, 200 trees grown there have traveled to Smithers, 100 to Dawson Creek, 222 to Prince Rupert, 100 to Prince George and 400 to Terrace, sold by the Terrace Boy Scouts.

But the life cycle of a Christmas tree begins many years before it is cut, poised and decorated.

Coburn said trees are planted eight to ten years before they are cut.

“You need about five acres each year, at least,” he said.

“It’s a 10-year cycle.”

The U-Cut farm has 10 different patches of trees which rotate throughout the years, each path being harvested over three years and sometimes even five, explained Coburn.

The farm requires about four months work annually. Four to five days are spent planting, and weeding and pruning occur from July through September. Harvesting begins mid November, this year starting Nov. 16.

Planted at the farm are Grand Fir, Noble Fur, Fraser Fir, Alpine Fir and Amabilis Fir and Douglas Fir.

Red Pine, White Pine and Scotch Pine can also be found there along with Blue Spruce.

To distinguish Fir, Pine and Spruce from one another, the answer lies in the tree’s needles.

Pine needles extend from branches in clumps of two to five depending on the kind.

For example, White Pine trees have five needles per cluster.

Both Fir and Spruce have needles that are attached individually.

To tell the difference, the key is in the needle’s shape.

Fir needles tend to be somewhat blunter than spruce needles, which have a squarish shape.

 

Just Posted

Festival of Mini-Trees raises almost $7,000 for Dr. R.E.M. Lee Hospital Foundation

Twenty Christmas trees decked out with merchandise, gift cards were given out in raffle draw

Caledonia Kermode basketball team holds first-ever Men’s Health Night fundraiser

Approximately $250 was raised during the senior boys’ home opener game

Here are the top earners at Coast Mountains School District

Audited financial report released for 2018/2019 fiscal year

Skeena Voices | The wild path

Courtenay Crucil is a nature-based therapist and herbalist who helps people with the earth in mind

Northwest B.C. physician receives Medal of Good Citizenship Award

Dr. Peter Newbery was one of 18 people in B.C. to get provincial recognition

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read