Category Archives: christmas tree

WREATH MAKING 101

When I look around the wreath barn, formerly know as our old shop, I really have to smile.  It’s a mix of good friends, cousins, family and distant relatives.  Somehow or another, the group of ladies who work so hard to make our wreaths by hand, have all come to the farm through love.  I can count on each and every one of them to put in long hours and dedication for the farm.  So really from the day after election day to the week before Christmas, they are married to the barn.  Of course they do break for lunch on-time each day!

We get lots of questions about where our wreaths come from.  Last year our wreath crew made and decorated over 1200 wreaths, mantle pieces, swags, arrangements and cemetery crosses for our guests, in sizes that range from 20” to 72″ across.  Take a look at the pictures below and see the process of wreath making.  (Note that all my workers are dedicated, but they want to keep their great talents a secret.  So the beautiful wreath pictures are complements of Bob Melville, the photos of hands making the wreaths are complements of Julie, she had to re-take some of the pictures…you get what I am saying!)

Matt is basal pruning in a block of Fraser firs.  This is hard work that requires the employee to cut the bottom six inches of branches off the trees.  This makes it easier for our guests to cut down their own tree.

A fast worker can basal prune a tree in about one minutes time.  The branches are then stacked and ready to be loaded into Larry’s pick up truck.

  The Fraser fir branches are brought over to the wreath barn where there are cleaned of any grasses and sorted.

Greens are then cut to size depending on the size wreath that is being made.

Greens are bunched and trimmed depending on the length and width required.

The bunches are then placed between the clamps on the proper size ring and crimped into place. 

Our decorators then add berries, pine cones, natural material and those special finishing touches for a one of a kind wreath to adorn your home. Every bow is even hade-made by several artistic women.

Did you know we take custom wreath orders?  Contact julie@stokoefarms.com for details, pricing and ordering.

Spring Christmas Tree Planting at Stokoe Farms

Two year old Fraser Fir with Phytophthora

Two year old Fraser Fir with Phytophthora

This unusually wet 2011 Spring turned out to be a good year to try a new planting technique with our Fraser fir transplants. Fraser fir trees do not like to have “wet feet”, that is they do not grow well in wet soil and can be susceptible to a fungal root disease called Phytophthora, causing the transplant to die. So to remedy this many farmers create ridges in these marginal fields to help increase drainage and move excess water away from the root system.

To test this planting technique we borrowed equipment from our friends near Ithaca, Richard and Kaye Moore. The plow makes the ridge and then the roller packs and forms the planting bed. Larry created the ridges last Fall and we planted the trees on them this past week.Plow to make the ridgeRoller to form the ridge

   The last of our transplants arrived on Friday from a Christmas tree nursery in Quebec Canada. They are a Fraser Balsam cross that is proposed to be faster growing and will tolerate more soil variety then the Fraser. We also planted traditional Fraser, Douglas, Concolor, and a few Grand Firs over the past two weeks on those occasional dry days.

With planting behind us, Larry is busy with weed control and fertilizing. The warming weather means buds will be breaking on the new growth and we will have to be on the look out for harmful insects.

Happy planting to everyone  working in their flower beds and preparing your garden!

Suzanne goes to marketing conference

Santa Skydives in to Kick Off Christmas Tree Season at Stokoe Farms – FREE ADMISSION

We have lots of trees waiting for your family this holiday.  Check out the unique items in our gift store during your visit.  If you came out to enjoy good old fashioned family fun during Pumpkin Harvest, then you’re certain to enjoy winter fun on the farm.

FREE Admission