O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree….a tune that we sing or hum, especially if you’re like me and don’t know all the lyrics. I often wonder if Vern Labbe of Frenchville, a northern Maine tree farmer hums this traditional holiday tune all year long when he’s working around his trees?
One just can’t help themselves to spin that song in their head over and over when walking around his plantation looking for that one perfect Christmas tree.
Labbe has been planting, caring for and cutting down Christmas trees on his farm, for his patrons and putting smiles on their faces, since 1991. In a little niche village, up in the St. John River Valley, in a little town called Frenchville. One ventures up Church Road (so called because it turns up next to one of the Valley’s many historic Catholic churches, and in a few miles, you see it….Labbe Tree Farm.
Speaking with Vern, he informed us that he purchased the farm back in 1983, planted his first seedlings in 1984 and has been selling Christmas trees to local folk since 1991. That’s 25 years of loving, tender care for his commodity.
Once you’ve chosen the tree, Vern carefully cuts it for you, and with a few trims, you’re on your way to adorning your home with the fresh smell of balsam fir.
A timely article today on the BDN by my friend and long time collegue, Julia Bayly. When I saw her article, I quickly messaged her and stated that creative minds think alike, with her permission, check out her story about the Labbe Tree Farm.
A bit of history on the majestic Balsam Fir Tree. It is native to most of our eastern states and Canada. This evergreen can grow to be as tall as 60+ feet in its lifetime. Most Balsam trees end up being a Christmas tree in our homes but go back many years and balsam resin was used as a cold remedy or as glue for glasses. The wood was milled as framing lumber, and the balsam fir boughs were the preferred mattress when out in nature. For our four legged friends, these majestic trees are oven bowed in a downward formation from snow loading which provides shelter from the elements during the winter months.
Both young and old alike cannot help but feel the spirit of the holidays when going to Labbe’s Tree Farm and coming home with what they know is the ‘perfect’ one for them.
Happy Holidays t