TREE-MENDOUS TIME OF YEAR ON THE FARM
Growing Christmas trees is not just a festive job for Rob
THE countdown to Christmas has begun. And, if you haven’t already done so, many of you will likely be putting up your trees this weekend.
But have you ever wondered what it’s like on a Christmas tree farm?
This farm is one of the largest Christmas tree growers in Wales, selling 15,000 a year.
Rob Morgan is the owner of Gower Fresh Christmas Trees in Three Crosses. He planted his first tree in 1997 and now the farm has half a million trees.
As well as trees, there’s also a Santa’s grotto with elves, reindeers and a Santa.
“A lot of people think that we do nothing in the year and that the trees just grow naturally – but all year we are very busy.
“I have four full-time staff. The main jobs are keeping the weeds and bugs down and pruning the trees,” Mr Morgan said.
“The key to producing a quality tree is putting a lot of time and effort into shaping them. I work all year in the farm. I’m in the trees every week looking for bugs and I’m with the reindeers every day.
“I’m also doing leaf and soil analysis. We are out in all weathers.
“In January and February we plant around 40,000 trees.
“It’s a race against the season. In the summer we will label the trees ready for winter and we have got the grotto to put together.
“I import my seeds from Canada – that goes to a plant nursery for four years, then the plant goes into the ground for eight years. So from seed to sale you are looking at 12 years.
“It takes eight years for a 7ft tree to grow. People think they turn up and we plant a tree and next year it is 8ft but sadly that’s not how it works.
“When I planted my first tree I didn’t think that anything would ever happen but now I’m surrounded by half a mil-