Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Right, now Christmas is out the way we can start planning for next year’s festive season straight away.
It may seem strange to draw up plans for next Christmas already, but one north Suffolk farmer is continually thinking about the next one round the corner and the many others that stretch ahead.
Trevor Oram is already back to work at Wrentham Christmas Trees at Field Farm where he is preparing the next crop for the small army of people who flock to his business every year to snap up more than 4,000 trees for their homes.
And as well as pruning trees for 2014’s festive season, Mr Oram is also planning six years ahead, as he has planted seedlings that will bear financial fruit in 2020 at his farm at Wrentham, near Lowestoft.
Every November, Mr Oram, 51, handles 4,500 Nordmann fir, Scots pine, traditional Norway spruce and blue spruce seedlings that take up to seven years or more to reach their full potential.
In a seemingly never-ending process, Mr Oram can be seen every day pruning some of the tens of thousands of trees on his 12-acre farm to help keep them in a traditional shape.
He also has to regularly add fertiliser to the soil and stop pests, such as hares and greenfly, from munching their way trough his extensive crop.
And Mr Oram’s efforts pay off every year as from mid November to Christmas Eve his farm is a hive of activity as all his trees are taken when families, from as far as London and Surrey, pitch up in their cars to collect trees for their homes – sometimes resulting in some bizarre scenes.
Mr Oram said; “This year we had one family who had a tree sticking about 7ft out of their car’s sun roof as they drove back to Great Yarmouth.
“Many people see coming here as the start of their Christmas. Families enjoying discussing which tree they want and picking one out.”
“But not many people see how we have to work all year round to get the trees ready. Once Christmas Eve is over we start thinking about the next year.”
The Christmas tree farm was set up 48 years ago by Mr Oram’s father Peter. He took it over in 2001 and his wife, Donna, and daughter, Grace, 12, help out during the year.
During the tree collection period about eight people are taken on to cut down trees chosen by families and pack them in a protective mesh for customers.
Mr Oram had this advice to anyone who puts up a real tree in their home next Christmas: “Keep them well watered. Keep them away from fires and heaters and keep them away from doorways so people don’t brush past them.”
All the three-year-old seedlings are bought from Treesplease in Northumberland. As well as the farm, Mr Oram’s trees are available from the Morrisons supermarkets in south Lowestoft and at Beccles.