Our Farm & Sustainable Wreath Harvesting

Nestled deep in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains,

…we have been handcrafting holiday wreaths, swags, fresh cut cedar garland and candle centerpieces for wholesale distribution nationwide since 1992. The Northern Lights Wreath Company started as a small family operation on our 80 acre farm located in Eagle Creek, Oregon, on the slopes of beautiful Mount Hood; an area widely known for its hardy Noble Fir that is used in much of our products. Observing sustainable harvesting practices and working in partnership with the National Forest Service, we can ensure that the forests will continue to produce these magnificent trees.

Sustainability

All of our evergreen products are made from renewable forest resources that are never cut down, but only harvested by trimming the outside lower branches. This harvesting method assures a continual yearly yield and safeguards the tens of thousands of forest acres in the Pacific Northwest where our evergreen boughs are cut.

During the busy Fall season (from early October until early December), We employ over 200 seasonal workers to harvest boughs, assemble our products and ship throughout the United States. Most of our workers return each year and possess the experience and skills to produce only the finest products for you and your customers.

certified sustainable farming methods

Our family owned and operated farm believes in using only sustainable farming methods that have been inspected by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and certified to be in compliance with the new SERF environmentally sustainable farm standards.

Christmas tree farms are organizing themselves to work with farm extension agents and agriculture officials to create real and verifiable farm sustainability standards. Scientific comparative studies have now shown real Christmas trees better for the environment than artificial trees, and tree farms create sustainable jobs.

Coalition Christmas tree growers agree to farm using methods that are conscious of the environment, and to submit their farms to an ongoing series of independent physical audits that verify compliance with strict certification program standards for Soil and Water Conservation, Riparian/Wetland Management, Biodiversity , Nutrient Management, Pest Management, Site Selection, Worker Health and Hygiene, and Consumer Education.

Christmas tree farms are good stewards of the earth

To understand the current state of the environmental impact we need to look at the Christmas tree industry as it now stands. Nowadays the tradition of going to the woods to bring home a tree for Christmas is really just a nostalgic reminder. All the Christmas trees being commercially produced in the United States are now grown on tree farms, and on these lands Christmas trees are a conservation crop.

Growing trees offer many benefits that help the land rebound and diversify. By replacing annual crops that require plowing, disking, and harrowing each year, Christmas trees longer crop cycle of eight or more years provides many avenues for environmental improvements.

Christmas-Tree-Elk

Elk in a Christmas Tree farm

As Christmas trees take root, we are growing and preserving soils. Many farmlands are highly depleted of organic matter. Christmas trees are pruned by hand every summer, and this deposits large quantities of twigs and needles onto the ground. This combines with a level of grass and weeds that accumulate over the eight years or so that it takes a Christmas tree to grow. Mature roots physically hold the soil against erosion, and later add more organic matter as the stumps and roots rot. After a few years of growth the young trees help protect the ground from what is called impact erosion, which is a result of the heavy rainfall in Christmas tree producing areas.

When the trees get big enough, the shade they produce helps reduce soil evaporation, and offers refuge for a remarkable diversity of wildlife. Small birds probably get the most benefit, but small rodents and other mammals support populations of birds of prey. Deer are common and even elk are in some of the more remote fields, drawn to graze on some of their preferred foods that grow as weeds between the rows.

Another important way Christmas trees impact the environment is controlling runoff by changing the timing of the release of water from the soil in a beneficial way. Obviously, when receiving a deluge of heavy rainfall, land with a humus layer and tree roots can slow down or even eliminate surface flows of water runoff and increase the absorption of water into the earth. This kind of sustained rainfall happens with some regularity in the Pacific Northwest. Land growing Christmas trees will more slowly release that water during the dry summer months, helping to recharge aquifers and sustain low season stream flows.

As farmers, we care deeply about the land where we live and work, and we are grateful for the rural lifestyle Christmas tree farms help sustain. Helping the environment is for us, an important part of being at peace with the earth and with one another, which is what Christmas is really all about.