31 Oct2009

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A Christmas Tree Farm near the Canadian border… I knew there was a good reason to take these snapshots of these rows and rows of pine trees last Spring when we were in New Hampshire and took time to visit a maple syrup farm, here. For the past few years, we have been fortunate enough to get a live douglas fir Christmas tree from S&R, and it is always a joy when it enters our home and quickly perfumes the living room with that quintessential holiday fragrance of pine. My sisters in New York always get gorgeous, floor to ceilling fresh Christmas trees (blue spruce are spectacular) each holiday season, see this tree from Christmas 2007. Last year we had this bushy specimen. We even managed to see the tree not only come out of hibernation, but grow a few needles as well! Here is another previous post, with tips on how to care for your fresh tree and prolong its life.

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It was a cold, wet New England Spring at 35F, so I didn’t wander too far on the muddy farm, though I was tempted to take this little tractor out for a spin…

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These trees were rather small, say 5-6 feet tall, but they were nicely shaped (clipped and helped by human hands actually)…

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But the fascinating find was the packing contraption that takes a full bushy tree, crams it through a metal ring and tightly wraps it in a plastic netting that reduces its size for efficient packing and shipping. It always amazes me that by this time, some trees have already been cut and packed and placed in containerized vans and they are already making their way across the Pacific ocean to stores in HK, Singapore and Manila…

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Every year I offer to announce when reservations for the trees are taken by S&R, and you can do it now. Some folks might think I own shares in S&R, but I don’t, I just want to make sure that enough people get these trees every year so we can too… so there’s definite self interest involved, under the guise of doing the shopping public a service. If you are an importer of mistletoe and sell it for a reasonable sum, I would happily announce that as well. :)

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Here are the details on the fresh trees for Christmas 2009, according to my suki at S&R:
 
Douglas Fir (Not the ones in these photos)
Height – 7 to 8 feet
Price – P3,799.95 (with 1 free bottle of chemical preservative) – Roughly $85, a pretty good price considering we are halfway around the world!
Arrival – 3rd week of November
Reservation Fee – P500 (serves as downpayment)
 
Tree Stand – 999.95 (sold separately)
 
Contact numbers for reservation/tree inquires:
Fort Bonifacio – 888-0640 (local 133 to 135)
Congressional – 929-8888 (local 133 to 135)
Alabang – 771-9999 (local 133 to 135)
Aseana – 853-9999 (local 133 to 135)

Please contact S&R directly. I am only the messenger, not the order taker.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Vic says:

    They are nice trees which symbolize the spirit of Christmas. All over the world, even non-christian countries celebrate Christmas eve. I got to be excited with the holiday seasons. It’s time to keep some cash on it.

    Oct 31, 2009 | 4:16 pm

     
  2. wahini says:

    i know you’re only the messenger, but do you have any idea if that tree will make it to cebu?

    Oct 31, 2009 | 6:26 pm

     
  3. Marketman says:

    wahini, if you stuck in as checked luggage protectively wrapped in thick plastic I bet it would. But at 8 feet long, you may need friends at PAL or Cebu Pacific. Air Cargo would double the cost, they weight quite a bit. :)

    Oct 31, 2009 | 6:34 pm

     
  4. junb says:

    Yes nothing beats a fresh smell of a pine tree inside your house. We will definitely have a live pine tree as a christmas tree for the kids to enjoy it in a tropical country like Singapore.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 12:03 am

     
  5. Mom-Friday says:

    wow a real fresh Christmas tree!!! i think i need to convince hubby to get us one of those now as we’re really planning to change our tree this year! :) thanks for the tip and wish me luck on getting a tree! MM, does S&R deliver? we don’t have a van :(

    Nov 1, 2009 | 12:26 am

     
  6. sister says:

    We always get a Fraser Fir, it keeps its needles longer and has a very elegant shape, not too bushy and not too sparse either. MM is right, floor to ceiling is the yearly goal, with a foot cut off for the angel.
    Always fresh cut a few inches off your tree and immediately soak in a bucket of water for 24-48 hors before bringing it in and decoprating the tree. It will keep longer and the branches will have more tensilestrenght. Note most trees are cut in late September and need the extra water to revive. Lucky folks who can get one from a tree farm nearby.Happy Holidays to all readers, OMG, it’s just around the corner.
    You can get mistletoe after Thanksgiving.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 12:31 am

     
  7. sister says:

    If anyone intends to make fruitcake make them in the next few weeks when frehly picked walnuts and pecans are available.

    Nov 1, 2009 | 12:33 am

     
  8. eej says:

    Don’t forget to throw in an an aspirin or two in the tree holder to keep it fresh longer. MM, slow down, I’m still in the Halloween mode then Thanksgiving thereafter.. haven’t stressed about Christmas yet!

    Oh, the fun of the holidays indeed! .

    Nov 1, 2009 | 1:12 am

     
  9. betty q. says:

    Sister: Can I PLEASE just order a fruitcake from you? I will be going to the Land of the Midnight Sun in the next few days …roughing it out like Little House on the Prairie…wood burning stove, etc. …Yup, I am TOTALLY INSANE Doc C. for doing it this time of the year!

    As a token of my gratitude , Sister, if I can order your fruitcake, I will mail you the chocolate cake by Fedex if need be or by air cargo!

    Nov 1, 2009 | 2:59 am

     
  10. pinayinny says:

    sister, where do you get your trees here in ny?

    Nov 1, 2009 | 5:23 am

     
  11. sister says:

    Dear Pinayinny,
    You can get a tree from EVERGREEN on Sixth Avenue between 26th and 27th Street in Manhattan. Gus gets them from a tree farm upstate so they are fresh cut compared to the ones on the street corners. He is cranky and not customer friendly since he is basilcally to the trade only but if you go in there and order one nicely and pay cash he will get it delivered to you sight unseen so you just have to trust him. He no longer stocks them on the sidewalk because the cops issue tickets. He sells only “lobby trees”, top grade, good on 7 out of 8 sides. Trees are graded so go for the yellow or white ribbon. Just tell him how tall you want it, and generally it’s about $10-12. a foot plus $20 for delivery in Manhattan. Someone in his store will fresh cut it before delivery. He also carries fresh wreaths, pine or boxwood roping, holly and mistletoe, his store is one stop decorating for the holidays.
    The secret to shopping at the flower market on 28th Street is to know before hand what you want, don’t ask questions or haggle, and pay cash otherwise they will unceremoniously throw you out. Expect to pay 20% more than their regular florist customers but that is still 50% cheaper than buying from your neighborhood florsit.

    Best,
    Sister

    Dear Betty Q,

    Haven’t gotten around to making any fruitcakes for Christmas after I made 200 individual ones plus a 100 lb. wedding cake for my daughter last June. I am fruitcaked out already so maybe next year. You seem like an absolutely accomplished and dedicated cook so it will take you only one afternoon to churn out a dozen cakes. MM published my recipe several Christmases ago. It is well worth the effort.
    Furthermore I am gearing up to making Thanksgiving for 50 friends and family, so fruitcake is not even a consideration this month. More like trying to figure out the logistics for my menu of oysters with mignonette, 3 turkeys, 2 hams, stuffing, gravy, cranberry compote, pear chutney, wild rice salad, beet and mache/goat cheese salad, mashed turnips, creamed potato-parsnip, candied yams, cornbread, apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies. About 80% of it is locally sourced from Union Square market. It isn’t what the Pilgrims or the Indians ate but it is what my children want every Thanksgiving. I suggested a more authentic menu based on historical guidelines i.e. eel, duck, venison,etc. but that was voted down.
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday and thanks for sharing all your recipes.
    Best,
    Sister

    Nov 1, 2009 | 11:09 am

     
  12. tinggayforever says:

    mm – silent lurker (for years now) but this post got me excited! i am THISCLOSE to ordering one (not just for myself but mainly for my 1 year old boy who will be enthralled by this!) i just 2 questions:

    1. how did you bring it home? do they deliver or do you need a pickup of some sort to transport it? we only have a mini SUV (a CRV) so i don’t think it’ll fit
    2. in your post about how to take care of it – where do you buy the christmas stand to prop up the tree?

    Nov 3, 2009 | 5:09 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    tinggayforever, the tree comes wrapped up or bound up, so it is like a long heavy surfboard but more cylindrical. It fits in a medium or large SUV, with the middle and possibly front seat down. It would also travel well on the roof for brief distances. Just cover it with plastic so no stray sap stains your car. The christmas stand is also sold at S&R, I think they mentioned it in the details above… PHP999.95 but re-usable, ours is nearly 6 years old I think. The smell is incredible. But keep it hydrated as it could dry out without additional water.

    Nov 3, 2009 | 8:07 am

     
  14. vance says:

    Hi MM :) Where can I buy a mistletoe and for how much? Thank you!

    Nov 3, 2009 | 4:41 pm

     
  15. Marketman says:

    vance, many years ago, the fanciest of flower shops at 6750 I think brought in a very limited number of pieces of mistletoe for their best clients… I saw them preparing them, but unless you were a regular, I don’t think you could buy them. Since that time, I have never seen fresh mistletoe for sale in Manila. But they could be easily handcarried from North America if you know someone coming back during the holidays.

    Nov 3, 2009 | 5:07 pm

     
  16. Johnson says:

    Thanks for the info. I was told that the 1st batch would arrive Nov 28.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 3:25 pm

     
  17. anna says:

    what did you do with the tree after the holidays? did you use it as “pang-gatong?”

    Dec 26, 2009 | 11:00 pm

     
 

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