Where the Christmas tree is king

East Kootenay ideal conditions for natural Christmas trees

Baling Christmas trees in a yard near Fort Steele.

In the heart of the B.C. Rockies, beneath magnificent snow-capped peaks, lay the bountiful green valleys of the East Kootenay. It is here we produce our famous, long-lasting and fragrant Christmas trees for both domestic use and export around the world.

The cool fresh air and brilliant sunshine of our mountain region creates ideal growing conditions for Natural Stand Christmas Trees. Every year an early frost nips the Interior Douglas Fir forests and sets their deep green needles.

This East Kootenay mountain secret seals freshness and fragrance into each tree.

As a result, the mountain Douglas Fir trees remain fresh and fragrant long after shipping and throughout the holiday season.

A B.C. Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir will bring the fresh, intense scent of the mountain forests to your holiday hearth and home.

Year after year, thousands of natural stand Christmas trees are naturally regenerated and grown amid a mixed forest of all ages. Growers space and prune the forest to encourage optimum growth.

By using proven, sustained growth methods of forest management, many trees can be grown from the same rootstock. After a tree is harvested, one of the several branches left on the rootstock will slowly turn up and grow into a new tree. This common practice of regrowing new trees from established rootstocks is called “Limb Culture” and means long term benefits to the forest and shorter growing periods for each tree, benefitting both producer and customer.

Natural Stand Christmas Tree lands harmonize wildland values and human needs. Our livestock and wildlife ranges are dramatically improved by Natural Stand silvicultural practices. Wintering bands of Elk, Sheep and Deer thrive on the enhanced pasture land. Nesting wild birds utilize the mixed age forests yet are unaffected by the fall tree harvest.

The Natural Stand Christmas Tree industry has a long and growing tradition among the folks living in the valleys of the B.C. Rockies. For over 80 years, Native Stand growers have visited the same forests to encourage and carefully select natures finest Mountain Douglas Firs. Once the trees are cut, they are delivered to sites near the villages where they are inspected and bundled to provide a safe and protected journey to destinations throughout North America and overseas.

Natural Stand tree production takes place in the ideal growing conditions of the East Kootenay valleys. Quality management and care by tree producers ensures a sustained yield of excellent, fresh and enduring trees. Year after year our customers  have access to healthy, deep-green Christmas trees produced in a mountain environment of thoughtful and responsible wildland stewardship.

The Kootenay Christmas Tree Association reminds members of the public who wish to cut their own tree, to obtain a free permit from the Ministry of Forests. Avoid private land and power line right-of-ways in your quest for the perfect tree. Local trees are sold by our members at a number of Cranbrook locations. A cut tree will drink a considerable amount of water during the first several days when brought indoors, and for the next couple of weeks will provide fragrant enjoyment.

Submitted by Daryl Calder on behalf of the Kootenay Christmas Tree Association.

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