Frequently Asked Questions
What’s so special about Mossyrock?
Mossyrock is the perfect location for weather, rainfall, moderate temperature, 1000′ elevation, and latitude (center of natural environment). It is perhaps better than Oregon, because there is more rain, less drought in the summer months, a more moderate temperature, and it is farther north.
In addition, the trees are dormant when cut. This results in fresher, more vivid coloring, superb keepability and quality.
And then there is the beauty of the location, and the fact that one can see Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens from the property, plus parts of Mayfield Lake. Accessible by highway to Spokane, Seattle, and Portland, Mossyrock is a rich jewel of a location in the Pacific Northwest.
What variety of Christmas trees do you offer?
If you spend extra time on the Burton Blue Noble Fir, do you charge more for these trees?
We always try to add a small percentage of Burton Blue Noble Fir in a regular order of Noble at no additional charge. If a customer wants only Burton Blue Noble, then there is a slight additional charge. To learn more about Burton Blue Noble Fir, click here.
Why did you choose Noble Fir as the main product?
Noble fir are the most popular Christmas trees on the West Coast. They are known for their overall appearance and ability to stay fresh. Noble fir are high altitude trees and are native to the Cascade Range and Coast Range mountains of western Oregon and Washington.
Charley Burton saw the possibilities when he started his business, Bear Canyon Farm, in 1949. He was clearly a visionary.
Today, John and Cheryl Burton carry on Charley’s tradition in their business by offering distinctive fresh Christmas trees. Just a cut above the ordinary.
How many grades of trees do you have?
We have three grades. Our #1 trees have great color, uniform shape, and a good, clean handle. Each tree is hand cut, individually baled, and carefully loaded. Multiple drop loads are separated by a plastic mesh load divider.
Our standard grade #2 tree is a good, salable tree. Color is good, however one side may have a flaw or the taper may not be uniform. A few of our customers choose the #2, finding the price point fits their individual marketing area better. Sometimes customers order both grades, pricing them differently, in order to have something for everyone.
The economical Field-Run grade tree is sold as a 5-8′ tree. They work well when the customer wants to eliminate hassle, wants the pricing all the same, and wants a less-expensive tree.
How do you get the incredible, deep colors for your Fir?
We achieve the rich, deep colors of our fresh Christmas trees through the use of our special seed orchard (all grafted select trees) and through grafting. The blue color is a natural variation in the Noble. A very small percentage are the deep blue we call Burton Blue. We have identified the very best and distinctive and cloned these qualities through grafting. Our elevation and rainfall (Mossyrock’s average is around 50″ per year) also contribute to our fresh Christmas trees’ superior quality.
How much time in advance are your Christmas Trees cut before shipping?
Normally our Christmas trees are cut within a few days in advance of shipping. Never more than a week.
What is your minimum order?
We ask for a minimum order of 100 trees.
What is your delivery window?
We help arrange delivery and can often quote a delivered price. Also, we ship in “less than full truckload” (LTL) quantities to many areas. We ask for a three-day delivery window, which allows us to coordinate multiple drops on one truck.
Can we arrange for picking up our order at the farm?
Absolutely. Many customers arrange for their own shipping rather than have it handled by Christmas Hills Tree Farm.
How long have you used a helicopter as part of your operation?
During the 1980s, John’s father, Charley Burton, began using a helicopter. We have used a helicopter for over 20 years.
Should I feel guilty about having a fresh Christmas tree…am I harming the environment?
Not according to the Smithsonian Magazine:
The real versus artificial tree debate crops up every year, but environmentalists have come to a pretty clear-cut consensus: Natural is better. About 450 million trees are currently grown on farms in the U.S., according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Further, says the Smithsonian article, “Environmental experts also point out that tree farms provide oxygen, diminish carbon dioxide and create jobs.”
Alive East Bay magazine, in December 2007, published an article entitled “Christmas Trees: which is best, natural or artificial?” It indicates that there are many logical reasons to buy a fresh tree instead of an artificial tree. This includes the following:
- Artificial trees are manufactured, and are made of mostly plastic and petroleum.
- Without any way to be recycled, artificial trees are a landfill staple.
- PVC and the manufacturing processes of PVC create dioxins which are some of the most toxic substances known.
- One acre of Fresh Christmas trees produces enough oxygen daily for the needs of 18 people. With nearly a half million acres of commercial trees in the U.S., that’s a lot of clean air being produced.
- Christmas tree farms provide a significant amount of wildlife habitat; it takes seven to ten years for a Christmas tree to reach harvesting maturity, so there’s lots of time and space for allowing birds and other critters to thrive.
- Over 85% of artificial Christmas trees are produced in Asia, whereas nearly the entire fresh tree industry is in the U.S. Just from a “Made-in-America” perspective, fresh Christmas tree farming deserves the same emotional support that most of us feel for our other local farmers.
What is the elevation of Christmas Hills Tree Farm?
Christmas Hills Tree Farm elevation varies from 800′ to over 1200′.
What is the history of these remarkable fir trees?
To learn more about these amazing Christmas trees, click on the links below. Wikipedia.com has some excellent information provided by many experts.
- Fraser Fir: sizes from 4′ to 10′
- Grand Fir: sizes from 4′ to 9′
- Douglas Fir: sizes from 4 to 10′
- Noble Fir: sizes from 2′ to 20′
- Nordmann Fir: sizes as tall as 40′
How accessible is Christmas Hills Tree Farm to major highways?
We have a map for you to view, and it’s expandable so you can see, for example, all of Washington State. Seattle, Spokane, and Portland, Oregon are all accessible.