Purchasing a Christmas tree is becoming more and more of an adventure
A cold spring, regionally heavy rainfall in April to May and a long dry period in August and September have not made it easy for farmers this year. Even the Christmas tree business has been affected. The trees are cultivated on an approx. 50,000 hectare area in Germany. On person, who knows a great deal about Nordmann firs, blue spruce, etc. is Frank Uwihs. He is the special cultures expert for the cultivation and care of strawberries, asparagus and Christmas trees at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG and provides some tips for tree purchasing in the interview.
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- AGRAVIS Special Cultures Expert, Frank Uwihs, knows the trends for Christmas trees.
How can you tell whether it is a good-quality tree?
Uwihs: Trees that have grown evenly and have an healthy, green colour to the needles are particularly good. There is a longer lead time from harvesting them on the field and the point at which the tree is put up in the living room. Customers should be aware and check that the Christmas tree is not already dropping needles when purchasing.
What are the new trends of the Christmas tree business?
Uwihs: Nowadays customers can buy a Christmas tree from almost anywhere, whether it is a supermarket, hardware store or in a yard. Moreover the purchase surrounding the tree is becoming more and more of an experience. The whole family comes to the yard and enjoys the atmosphere with mulled wine and hot chocolate.
What can farmers look out for when cultivating?
Uwihs: Currently a vast amount of energy is being exerted in Christmas tree cultivation. It is important to trim the shoots at the right time and lift the base of the crown from the floor. In doing so the tree will grow in the right direction and will have sufficient air and space underneath. Moreover, less disease is likely to develop. Three years prior to harvest, the topiary begins: by doing this the farmer can encourage the correct shape. A special trick is to scratch the bark so that the tree does not rapidly shoot up, but grows evenly.