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Old Farm FAQ's

How long does it take for a tree to grow to saleable size?
We cut in years 7, 8 and 9 from the time of transplantation. The transplants we use are 3-2s (3 years in a seed bed and 2 years in field) so they are 5 years old when we get them and about 12" tall. They grow at the Old Farm for another 7-9 year, so when cut, they are a total of 12 - 14 years old.

How does the tagging system work?
We mark the trees we have available with a two-part tag. When a customer purchases a tree, they tear off half of the tag to complete the purchase and also, indicate the tree is sold. Many customers tag early and come back to cut when they are ready to decorate, so please be very careful in ensuring that you choose a tree with a full, two-part tag!

The process works like this when pre-selecting a tree: find the tree that you like which has a full, two-part tag. Tear off the bottom half and proceed to the checkout to pay for the tree. You will be given a receipt with your tag number on it which will be used to "pick up" the tree when you are ready to cut.

The process works like this when cutting a tree: find the tree that you like which has a full, two-part tag. Cut your tree and move it to the loading area if you are planning to ride the wagon. Bring the bottom half of the ticket to the check out to pay for your tree. You can then take your tree to the shaker/baler area or retrieve it from this area after it has been taken down on the wagon.

Always triple-check your tag number with your receipt before cutting or loading to make sure you have the right tree!

How do you decide which trees to tag?
The Old Farm is set up in a nine-year rotation to ensure that we always have mature trees to offer for sale. We offer the trees that are ready for harvest and are in the "right location" to ensure that there are adequate trees for future years.

Why do you only sell the tagged trees?
Since we cannot "move" the trees around the farm, we cut in parcels that are both ready for harvest and offer the best selection to our customers while not "cutting ahead" and limiting what will be available in future years.

Why can't customers cut any tree they want?
Customers certainly can cut any unsold tree that they want, but only in the areas that are ready for harvest and aren't being prepared for future years.

Are all the trees the same species?
All the trees are balsam fir. There are some varietal differences and there is a lot of variation within this species leading to somewhat different appearances amongst the trees.

Are all the trees the same price?
All the "full size" trees (7' and up) are one price. Smaller trees (shorter than 7') and table-top trees (~3' - 4') are less. See current pricing for details and tag colors.

What is the best way to maximize needle retention?
Cut a fresh tree, get it into water promptly and never let the water drop below the bottom of the stump. Follow these guidelines and your tree will last the maximum amount of time before drying badly!

Do I need to make a fresh cut on the bottom of my tree?
If you are decorating directly after cutting and will get the tree into water within 3 hours or so, there is no need for a fresh cut. If you will be waiting long than this, you should cut an additional 1/4" off of your tree's base before placing it in water.

How long will a tree last before dropping its needles?
It depends upon how well you watch the water, how warm you keep your house and, to some extent, the individual tree itself. We put up a tree in our store in mid-November each year, and every year so far, it has still been in good condition after Christmas.

What if my tree drops needles prematurely or has other problems that are outside the norm?
All tree sales are final. However these are a natural product and a very few trees just have "issues". If you ever purchase a tree from the Old Farm and it does something very unexpected (drops all its needles right away, for example), contact Jay directly. We stand behind our trees 100%.

Important notes

Although we do our very best, occasionally a pre-selected tree gets cut down in error by a later customer. In this case, we do our best to contact the original purchaser to give the option of receiving their tree immediately or picking another for later cutting.

All activities (marshmallow toasting, wagon ride, tree selection) are subject to weather and field suitability constraints. Customer satisfaction and safety are our first and overwhelming concerns!

If you need a pre-tagged tree cut and brought down to the store for you to pickup, please give us a day's notice and understand that we provide this service as time permits. This service may be unavailable on a busy weekend day!

Before cutting your tree or loading your tree on your car, please always TRIPLE CHECK to make sure your tag number matches your receipt! We don't want you (or another customer) to get an unpleasant surprise by finding you cut or brought home the wrong tree!

The Old Farm Christmas Place
1148 Sawyer Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME  04107

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