Sustainability is top of the agenda at Grappenhall Christmas Trees based at Carr House Farm in Cheshire, which has been farmed by the Bartholomew family for more than 70 years. Originally a market garden run by Alan and Kath Bartholomew, their sons John and Andrew planted the first Christmas Tree in 1996. They still own and run the farm today with the help of Rob Harrison and Louise Collins, a dedicated brother and sister team who have worked at Grappenhall Christmas trees for many years. They have 20 acres dedicated to Christmas trees and grow Nordmann Fir, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce and Fraser Fir.
From moving onto using electric chainsaws to encouraging customers to dispose of the tree netting responsibly, the family also encourages customers to use a Christmas tree collection service run by a local hospice.
In 2018 Grappenhall Christmas Trees launched their SustainabiliTREE event where customers have the opportunity to plant a real tree for every tree they bought during the event.
“Customers love the event and all ages get involved in the replanting of the trees plus they enjoy coming back and seeing the progress of the tree they planted (and also how long it’s taking to grow!). This year, instead of the trees being planted at the farm, customers had the option of taking the tree home and plant in their own gardens or if they’d prefer we found a space at the farm so no tree will go without a home.’’
The Bartholomew family loves Christmas and the sense of community and togetherness that it brings.
The Nordmann Fir is their most popular selling tree because of its colour, shape and the fact that their soft needles are highly retentive to the tree.
Son Andrew’s favourite is the Norway Spruce as it’s a very traditional tree, with such a beautiful fragrance that reminds him of his childhood Christmases. The branches are closer together, and hold lovely smaller decorations – Andrew still dresses his own tree with decorations from when he was young.
The family say there’s a rise in demand for smaller trees, or live trees in pots, either for smaller spaces or to have something that will last multiple years.
“We love supporting our customers in their endeavors to be more sustainable and ensure we share our tree care knowledge with them to keep their tree thriving. We have also seen growing popularity for the Blue Spruce, they tend to be a little smaller, have a unique blue green colour and a strong Christmas Tree fragrance’’
For more information about Grappenhall Christmas Trees please see grappenhallchristmastrees.co.uk
The BCTGA represents Christmas tree growers in the UK, to find details on your nearest grower please see Find a Tree.