The people at FSC-certified Glasfryn Fencing and Sawmill are passionate about trees – and at this time of year, particularly the kind of tree symbolic of presents, mince pies and Santa: the Christmas tree. We interviewed Arwel Roberts, the Managing Director, about the varieties they sell and how they are grown.
Company name: Glasfryn Fencing and Sawmill
Products certified: Christmas trees
FSC label: FSC 100%
FSC licence number: FSC-C018622
Licensed since: 2008
What makes your trees so special?
Simple – they’re fresh-cut to order, ensuring quality and longevity over the Christmas period, and importantly, are harvested in a way that ensures zero-waste. By not cutting in bulk, we don’t create an excess of unsold, wasted trees – meaning smaller trees (that might have been cut down) continue to grow into larger Christmas trees for the following year! Some of these older growth Christmas trees reach as tall as 30ft, with one of them being housed in Bangor Cathedral this year!
What kind of varieties do you offer?
We grow and sell four varieties of Christmas tree – Norway spruce (Picea abies), Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana), Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) and Noble fir (Abies procera).
Norway spruce used to be very popular; so popular in fact that it was the only variety we grew. However it has gradually gained a reputation for being too dry, causing unwanted needle-drop. However, because all our Norway spruce is cut on-demand, if customers keep their tree in water over the Christmas period, they should experience no problems with dropping needles.
Do you have any other tips for a ensuring a needle-free Norway spruce Christmas?
1. Make sure your tree is as fresh as possible
2. Cut around ½ an inch off the base to allow for efficient water-uptake
3. Place in a stand that has a water holder and submerge, topping up every few days.
How does Glasfryn grow its trees?
We manage our forest to FSC standards, using a planting method that ensures trees are grown in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable way. In the case of our Christmas trees, this involves planting them along the edge of forest tracks so they are ‘saw-handy’ and can be cut in short intervals – eliminating the need for bulk-harvesting.
People often don’t consider the care that needs to go into the cultivation of a Christmas tree. Extra attention needs to be given to enable a successful growth, including base-stimming and the thinning-out of other tree species that may smother them.
What planting plans do you have in place?
After Christmas, we have a planting plan that ensures all trees cut are successfully re-planted - a sustainable approach that guarantees a fresh growth of trees for the following year.
How can people order a Christmas tree from you?
Glasfryn offer an independent delivery service. To order your Christmas tree, you can contact us on 01758 750 623 or email email@example.com.
A version of this article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of Forest Matters.