Why do we grow Christmas Trees? In 1984, we were raising two sons, Brian age six and Brett age 2 while holding down two careers. With college bills on the horizon for the sons, we decided to leverage our 16 acre farm natural resources to pay bills and build a nest egg for college. Shellie’s father was a registered forester and she had grown up around a tree nursery. It just made sense to invest our land in growing Christmas Trees! We were a “green” family before green was fashionable.
Both of us are graduates of Michigan State University. John’s degree is in soil and water conservation, and Shellie’s in dietetics. The farm fields were planted into grain crops until the first Christmas trees were planted in 1984, more than thirty years ago! That first year, 1984, we planted 2000 Scotch pine and Colorado blue spruce. Each year since, 500 to 1000 trees are planted to utilize all the growable spaces. The trees were big enough for the first families to ‘cut-their-own’ Christmas trees in 1992 at Frost-Work Evergreens.
Getting the perfect fresh tree ready to decorate your home at Christmas each time is a labor of love! Each year at FrostWork Evergreens:
1.) seedling trees are planted in April
2.) weeds are sprayed and cones picked off the fir trees in May
3.) grass is mowed between the rows of trees all summer and fall
4.) each tree is hand sheared in June and July,
5.) natural seeds, flowers, berries, cones and pods are cultivated for use in fresh wreaths all year
6.) the bough waste and stumps are removed throughout the summer.
Frost-Work Evergreens Christmas Tree Farm is ready for you and your family each year from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, offering fresh ‘cut-your-own’ Christmas trees and custom evergreen wreaths as we have been since 1992. We love to reacquaint with families who come see us each year. John likes working outside with the families. Shellie works in the garage making the beautiful wreaths which she decorates with your choice of bow and native cones and berries.
We have made many great friends and acquaintances over the years. People who come, like to choose and cut their own tree for the special season. We provide the saws and families enjoy trekking through the rows and rows of trees to find that “perfect tree”. When families walk about the field they may notice the many different varieties of trees. (We no longer sell Scotch pine.)
We do not paint our trees with green paint. We do not sell our trees by the foot. We sell our trees all for the same price. We find that this is easier for the families who come to our farm as well as for us.
Our tree farm is called Frost-Work Evergreens because we live on the bottom of a hill where we can watch the late frosts roll down the hill onto the trees. It can be beautiful when the frost lay on the branches like the white snow however, the later frosts can kill the early buds on each Christmas tree, leaving small brown damage to the tips of some early branches. This damage affects the growth of the tree for that season. We live with whatever nature brings but hope for no late frost every year!
Our Christmas trees produce enough oxygen daily for about 200 people each day and filters carbon dioxide and other gases to help decrease the “green-house” effect. We have nature’s predator, the praying mantis, that helps to kill the aphids on the trees, rather than use pesticides.
Our farm is home to many animals such as raccoon, rabbits, coyotes, red fox, ground hogs, squirrels, and white tail deer. We have even had a badger at one time. We feed the birds year around and have cedar waxwings, American goldfinch, purple finches, robins, hummingbirds, robins, nuthatch, bobwhite, woodpeckers, sparrows, doves, bluebirds, and turkeys.
- John & Shellie Barclay