From the day after Thanksgiving while supply lasts:
Monday-Friday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm (dusk)
Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Retail Lot Hours
From the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve:
Monday-Friday 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
About Hanover Pines
Cultivating Christmas trees is similar to growing any other crop; the only difference is that it requires more time and patience. Most trees take an average of 10 years to reach the common 6-8 foot height. Trees need well-drained to fairly well-drained soil, depending on the species. We usually do a soil test, then add lime and fertilizer and eradicate any weeds before planting in the autumn. Then, like with the majority of other crops, we plow and disk the field to prepare the soil. The rows are spaced to allow for the growth of the trees, and a ground cover grass is planted to avoid erosion.
We plant seedlings or transplants purchased from nurseries that specialize in cultivating them in the early spring. Small, bare-root trees ranging in height from 8″ to 18″ are packaged in wet paper or moss to prevent the roots from drying out. We plant either manually or mechanically, depending on the amount of rain in early spring. Tractoring in very moist soil creates ruts that make tree maintenance difficult for the following 10 years. Following planting, the herbicide is sprayed in the rows to prevent emergent weeds that would deprive young trees of nutrients and moisture. Each spring and autumn, the herbicide is sprayed in the rows to manage weeds, with spot treatment for, particularly tough weeds. We adhere to Penn State’s guidelines regarding herbicide usage in order to effectively and safely care for our trees. We cut the grass between the rows of trees on a regular basis throughout the growing season. Mowing, in conjunction with appropriate herbicide use, enables the lower branches to get enough sunlight for growth and development. Other trees on the field’s borders are chopped for firewood, allowing all of the Christmas trees to get maximum sunshine.
Numerous insects and illnesses may infest trees in growth. With years of expertise, attendance at Christmas tree farmers’ meetings, and reading reference materials, we keep a careful watch on this. Insects and disease are a concern when any crop is produced in large quantities. Management is accomplished via the use of insecticides and fungicides, as well as through cultural measures such as weed control and the promotion of natural insect predators. This is a delicate balance that requires judgment on when and if to spray in order to accomplish the task with the least amount of chemical control. Certain individuals believe that chemical usage is detrimental to the environment. They are an essential tool for producing high-quality crops when used correctly. Wildlife abounds on our Christmas tree farm, as it does in many others—birds, rabbits, deer, and groundhogs.
We nurture the desired “Christmas tree form” as the trees grow by training a single leader each year, eliminating “doubles,” and even tying up leaders to maintain a straight stem. When the tree reaches 3′-4′ in height, we begin shearing, which involves removing some growth from side branches. As the root system becomes larger, the top growth becomes too long to produce a quality tree; thus, we reduce the leader to promote a broader top. We can develop the ideal taper and density for the majority of individuals by shearing our trees yearly.
Each year, we inspect all of our fields to decide which trees are mature enough to harvest. We label each tree with a color-coded plastic ribbon and a size tag. We finish the inventory process by offering Douglas fir, Canaan fir, Fraser fir, concolor fir, blue spruce, and Scotch pine trees for sale in sizes ranging from 3 to 12 feet, with the 6-7 foot tree being the most popular. We’ve maintained statistics throughout the years and made an effort to stock our retail lot with the types and sizes of trees that our customers desire.
We started tree harvesting on our property in late November. After harvest, each tree is put on our tree shaker to remove old needles, weeds, and debris, ensuring that you get a clean tree. Excess bottom branches are removed to make it simpler to stand the tree, and the tree is baled (wrapped in twine) for transportation purposes and to preserve the tree’s fragile limbs. When the trees arrive at our Hatfield retail location, we drill a tapered hole in the bottom of each tree to enable us to display them optimally on a tapered steel pin. When you arrive to choose your tree, our fresh-cut trees are lined up and exhibited separately by size and kind, with sizing tags to indicate if the tree you select will fit in the area provided. Additionally, we sell tapered pin tree supports for use at home. This is the simplest and quickest method of erecting your tree.
Our choose-and-harvest field is located just behind our display area for fresh trees. We will provide you with a saw and a tree wagon if you want to harvest your own tree (during daylight hours). When you return from the field, we will shake and bale it. This has become a family tradition for many individuals over the Christmas season.
When you choose your tree, we will transport it to our baler, bale it, and give it a new cut, which will make it simpler to transport and install in your stand. To make handling easier, place the tree in the stand, add water, and then remove the netting. Some individuals may want to buy a plastic tree removal bag that can be put on the floor prior to erecting the tree and then pulled up over the tree at the end of the season for a tidy and clean removal. The most environmentally friendly method to dispose of your tree is to have it chipped. Numerous towns provide this service, sometimes reusing the resultant mulch in neighborhood parks. Recycling is a prudent course of action.
Growing Christmas trees takes much preparation and effort. It has its benefits, as all good endeavors do. Seeing the joy on the faces of youngsters assisting in the selection of the family tree, newlywed couples selecting their first tree together, or anybody who has maintained the time-honored practice of utilizing a genuine Christmas tree is a reward we get year after year.