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Bramble Hill has been operating since 1972.  Paul and Suzy Mantiply are the current owners of the farm. In 2019 we were looking for a new home and fell in love with Bramble Hill in spite of having no Christmas tree experience at all! It has been a steep learning curve and a lot of hard work, but it is worth it each year to be a part of so many peoples holiday festivities. 

Bramble Hill is a special place. Peaceful and a little wild. We love this land and have made great strides into making the farm more eco friendly and sustainable. We don't use any pesticides or herbicides and only natural fertilizer. Our horses graze (and fertilize) the trees, owls and hawks have moved in to eat mice and moles and large flocks of wild turkey and deer herds make a procession through the farm each morning, nibbling weeds and pecking up grubs and baby rattlers! We have also overhauled the old irrigation system to make watering more effective and less wasteful.  The rest is done the old fashioned way, by hand! Hard work, but worth while. 

The farm is not the only thing keeping them busy. You may see or hear Paul flying overhead in his role as a Chinook helicopter Instructor Pilot for the National Guard. Suzy is a ceramic artist who has a studio at the farm. Add 4 children to the mix and we wonder where the time goes!

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Some Christmas tree farm facts!

  • There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
     

  • There are close to 350 million Real Christmas Trees currently growing on Christmas Tree farms in the U.S. alone, all planted by farmers.
     

  • North American Real Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states and Canada.
     

  • Eighty percent (80%) of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
     

  • Real Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and possible metal toxins such as lead.
     

  • Bramble Hill uses 'animal powered' weed control to avoid having to spray any harmful herbicides. We also try and deal with any pest issues naturally and strive to create a balanced, clean and healthy forest.
     

  • There are more than 4,000 local Christmas Tree recycling programs throughout the United States.
     

  • For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.
     

  • Bramble Hill encourage guests to try and cut the trees so they can regrow instead of being pulled out and replaced. Stronger root systems enable the tree to regrow faster and also make for a more natural animal habitat.
     

  • There are about 350,000 acres in production for growing Christmas Trees in the U.S.; much of it preserving green space.
     

  • Christmas tree farms provide stable habitats for a myriad of wildlife! We have several deer families raising fawns in the trees and the turkey flocks love the grub hunting. Hawks, foxes, racoons and snakes hunt the inevitable pests and possums, large families of squirrels and birds call this place home too! 
     

  • There are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas Trees in the U.S., and over 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the industry.
     

  • It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 – 7 feet) or as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7 years. With climate change and drought, trees are growing slower.
     

A little bit of Christmas tree history!

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From the ancient times, people from Egypt, Rome, and Pagans alike have venerated the evergreen tree. Bringing long lasting green boughs inside during a cold bleak winter was a welcome reminder that spring would return. 

 

Deep winter, with a harvest still recently tucked away, was even then a time for feasting and reflecting with friends and family.

DESIGN

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While Christmas trees were a well known tradition is Germany, the association with Paganism kept it from  being wider spread. This changed in 1858 with the illustration of Queen Victoria, her German husband Albert and their children gathering around an ornate tree. Instantly, the Christmas tree became  one of the most popular Christmas decorations in homes across the world!

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Walking home one clear starlight Christmas night, protestant reformer Martin Luther was overcome by the beauty of a clear moon and stars twinkling through the icy tips of fir trees. Wanting to recreate this using candles for his family he is credited as the first person to light his tree!

We are sure a few trees were burned, and a few gifts with them before electrical lights came along in 1882. Thanks Edison!

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Nowadays the Christmas tree might be the single most important symbol of the holiday season. From humble trees hung with precious memories to the grand extravagant displays in department stores and cities, the modern Christmas tree is designed to delight and celebrate. Long may this continue!

Remember to choose a real Christmas tree if you can, and keep those old traditions alive!