British Columbia

Firs flying off the farm earlier than normal this year, Christmas tree cultivator says

Joan Fleming, owner of the Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm, has safety guidelines in place so families can still come and cut their own this holiday. Just make sure to wear a mask.

If you have a tree up already, make sure to keep it cool and watered so it lasts the season, farm owner says

Some people are decorating for the holidays earlier than normal this year as a way to find comfort and joy during trying times. (Cathy Alex/CBC)

It may be the urge to find something that sparks joy these days, or it could be just be the need for a sense of normalcy — but whatever the reason, one B.C. Christmas tree farmer says her goods are in hot demand much earlier than in previous years.

Joan Fleming, owner of the Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm, sells 17 varieties of trees that customers can either cut themselves or purchase pre-cut from her five-acre farm on southern Vancouver Island.

She said in past years, business picks up at the end of November, but 2020 has already been busy.

"It's much earlier than it has been in the past," Fleming told CBC's On The Island host Gregor Craigie on Thursday.

Joan Fleming, pictured at her Christmas tree farm in Saanichton, B.C., says this November has been busier than previous years. (Facebook/Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm)

Fleming says there are ample safety protocols in place so people can enjoy the annual experience of choosing and cutting their own tree.

Staff are on hand to make sure everyone is social distancing, and no one is allowed on the farm without a facemask.

Those who do not want to wander can simply purchase a pre-cut tree and be on their way.

If you are planning to pick and cut this early in the season, Fleming recommends selecting a noble fir with its thick needles and blue hue — not just for esthetic purposes, but because they last the longest indoors.

"They are sort of considered the Cadillac of Christmas trees," said Fleming, adding that a noble could make it to January or even February indoors.

All trees erected indoors now, says Fleming, must be kept cool and watered, to ensure they are still healthy when Santa drops by.

To hear the complete interview with Joan Fleming on CBC's On The Island, tap the audio link below:

Gregor Craigie spoke with Joan Fleming, owner of the Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm, about opening the farm to families and keeping safe during a pandemic. 6:43

With files from On The Island

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