Tree farm cuts into the season

KINGSTON — Henry’s Tree Farm was in “catch up mode” this year, as property managers, Gale and Detlev Kroll, decided to remove some of the farm’s larger trees, such as the 20- to 30-foot noble, spruce and grand firs, that were beyond Christmas tree stage.

As a result, aside from selling trees, the farm now has firewood and 6,000 pounds of branches for sale, the latter of which can be used for making fresh holiday boughs or wreaths.

“People say there are a lot less trees but no, not really, you can just see the small trees,” Gale said with a chuckle.

And with about 25,000 Christmas trees within the 17-acre parcel, there is no shortage to choose from.

“It’s really a year-round operation here,” she said, adding that she and her husband spend about 60 hours a week on the farm taking care of the trees, including the 3,000-5,000 recently planted seedlings. During the holiday season, a crew of 12 — typically made up of family members — helps out on the weekends.

The farm originally produced raspberries when it was owned by Detlev’s parents, Carl and Erna Kroll, from the 1940s to the 1970s. Henry Meybohm became a partner in the business in the 1950s and eventually converted the farm from growing berries to Christmas trees in the 1970s. Since Meybohm retired two years ago, Gale and her husband have taken over managing the property.

“It’s been really fun, there is so much wildlife,” Gale said. She’s been able to identify 47 different types of birds so far, such as red tailed hawk, pileated woodpecker and blue herons.

There have been many new and return customers, Gale said, and everyone has been complimentary on how nice the property looks and the wide selection of trees — firs available include noble, shasta, fraser, nordman, grand, balsam and Douglas, plus blue spruce, Norway spruce and various pines.

The trees, most of which have a perfect holiday arbor shape, were sheared throughout the summer and fall.

Noble firs are the most popular, but they have been selling a lot of shear and Norway spruce, Gale said.

“They have been flying out the door,” she said.

The farm also has a gift store that sells handmade gifts, as well as wreaths, created by Carl Kroll. There are also Christmas tree stands and pre-cut trees available.

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