Welcome to our enchanted forest. This is the 34th Christmas at Bill’s How Lane Farm and Garden Center
During late November and December, as the air becomes crisp and the holiday tunes stream from the radio, chances are you are one of approximately 35 million people in the United States who will venture out to find the perfect Christmas tree. But with so many different choices on the market today it is easy to find your head spinning. Following are some “fast facts” to guide you in your journey.As mom would say, “What you chose to do makes the holiday special.”
After years of experience, only single needle conifers are sold as fresh cut evergreen trees at Bill's because only “fir trees” are fragrant enough to produce refreshing Christmas smell. Fir trees get their name because their needles are individually attached to the branches. Our evergreen trees are grown on family-owned farms in Pennsylvania where they are nurtured and shaped for 7-10 years before being ready for your living room. Each tree is cut and shipped to the nursery shortly before Thanksgiving where each tree is stood up in the wet soil so it can stay fresh while it is waiting for you to chose one for your home. Prices include making a fresh cut, twining the tree and place in or on your vehicle.
Prices this year will range from $29.00- $125.00 depending on the size, type and grade of tree you choose.
Types of fir trees
Douglas Fir - (Pseudotsuga menziesii) - Available size 3-8 feet
Douglas “fir” trees are extremely popular in the mid-atlantic region. They are not a true fir, but this variety has a mild sweet fragrance. The dark green or blue green needles of a Douglas fir are 1-1 1/2 inches long radiating in all directions along the branch. Branches are supple and droop so the Douglas fir trees cut for Christmas trees are tightly sheared creating a very great density. Lights and ornaments must be hung on the surface of the tree. This tree is grown on a tree farm for 7-10 years before reaching 5-7 ft tall.
Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri) - Available size 7-8 feet
The Fraser fir is sometimes called the southern balsam. Needles are flattened, dark green on the upper side and silvery bands on the lower surface giving a silvery-blue glow to the tree. Needles are ½ to 1 inch in length in two opposite rows moving to a slight curl on the upper branches. Very good needle retention, blue-green color , and pleasant fragrance have made the Fraser a popular Christmas tree species. Most Frasers are produced in North Carolina and southern slopes in Pennsylvania where winter climate is not as extreme and soils are highly acid. It takes 7-10 years on the farm to produce a a tree 6-7 feet tall.
Canaan Fir (Abies balsamea phanerolepis) - Available size 6-9 feet
The Canaan fir is a relative newcomer to the Christmas tree market. It has many of the characteristics of both the Balsam and the Frazier. The Canaan is best described as a cross or intermediate between the two. The Canaan has very good needle retention, as well as a tinge of blue coloration and fragrance found in their relatives.
Concolor Fir or White Fir (Abies concolor) - Available size 7-8 feet
The Concolor fir has light colored bark and silver blue-green needles. Needles are unique being slightly longer, 1-1 1/2 inches in size and forming a whorled appearance at the tip of the branch. The needle retention and fragrance are outstanding. It takes approximately 10 years to produce a tree seven feet tall.
Trees will be available from Nov 23- Dec 24 2008. Shop early for the best selection. Delivery may be available.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CUT CHRISTMAS TREE
The most important factor in maintaining freshnessis is to minimize water loss. We will make a fresh cut on the end of the tree you purchase at Bill’s. Try to get it into water within 5 hours. Do not set the newly cut end in mud before you place it in a pail or stand. The dirt will clog the pores and prevent water from reaching the needles. Remember to check the water level in your tree stand every day. Christmas trees are very thirsty. Keep them away from fireplaces, and close off heat vents so the room is kept cool and water use is slowed.
DISPOSING OF A CHRISTMAS TREE AFTER THE HOLIDAY
If you have followed the instructions above your fir tree should retain its needles until mid January. In fact one of our customers reported that her cut fir tree stayed green and beautiful for months. Of course it was kept in an unheated room. Many communities collect Christmas trees placed at the curb while others have places where they can be brought. Call your municipal building to get specific instructions. Christmas trees make good mulch for your flowers and shrubs. Ask if the mulch is available once they have been ground up.
We SELL LIVE CHRISTMAS TREES YOU CAN USE FOR THE HOLIDAY AND ADD TO YOUR LANDSCAPE
Blue spruce and other evergreen trees are grown on site and available for seasonal use and landscaping. Our pot grown evergreens are 3-5 ft tall . Just big enough to be easily transported and planted. Though priced by species and variety, our potted evergreens will generally cost between $39.00 and $59.00
GRAVE SPRAYS AND BLANKETS
Fresh evergreen boughs are woven into a “green blanket”. Then the blanket is decorated with a centerpiece and brightly colored ribbon. Each centerpiece is a unique creation. The following sizes are made on site 18inx 18inch, 2 ft by 2ft, 2 ft by 3 ft, 2 ft by 4 ft and 2ft by 6 ft and custom request are accepted.
Grave sprays and blankets are priced from 14.00 to $69.00
Undecorated and decorated wreaths are available in both floral and commercial quality for the holiday season. These wreaths generally have an outside diameter of 19-27 inches. Larger sizes are made to order.
OTHER SEASONAL PRODUCTS
- White pine roping
- Pine and cypress boughs
- Poinsettias: Thirty years ago I grew lots of Christmas poinsettias. Then I stopped. I was disappointed by the quality being sold in the stores last year so I have produced a few this year. Take a peek. Let me know if you see any difference.
Don’t forget we produced and bottle our own honey right at the nursery. It is never heated nor is anything added, so it is “local, raw and unadulterated”. Supply of honey will be somewhat limited this year because the spring was cold and wet. However there will be enough until Dec 26.Learn more about How Lane Honey...