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Recorder reporter visits Upminster Christmas tree farm

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 December 2015

Reporter Hayley Anderson at the Christmas tree farm with Emily French

Reporter Hayley Anderson at the Christmas tree farm with Emily French

Archant

The festive season is upon us and families are looking to transform their homes into winter wonderlands.

At the heart of each will be a majestic Christmas tree decorated from stump to tip with tinsel and glittery baubles.

From eating a huge turkey dinner to playing charades, pulling crackers and singing carols, festive traditions have been passed down the generations and making a trip to the Christmas tree farm to pick the perfect fir is no exception.

I visited the Christmas tree cabin at Foxes Farm Produce, Hall Lane, Upminster, to remember why this tradition is so cherished.

When I arrived, Emily French, farmer and co-owner, welcomed me.

The first things I noticed were Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and rows of about 50 trees ranging in height from 4ft to 12ft.

Music, which brought even more festive cheer to the experience, was coming from the Christmas tree cabin lined with costumes and sweets for families to enjoy.

Emily said: “We grow about 3,000 trees every year. We only display a certain amount at a time so people can actually see and pick out which tree they want to take home with them.

“Everyone is always happy when they come here because it is fun for all of the family and the cabin is just another way for them to get into the christmassy mood.”

Emily and her husband Guy have chosen to grow nordmann firs, traditional festive trees that are not prickly and will cause less of a mess on your carpet.

She said: “They’re suitable for children and pets, because they don’t have any bristles so are safe for them to touch.

“All trees will drop a few needles because they are living things but it is a lot better than most.”

Growing the trees from saplings is a slow process which

takes between six and 10

years so while not preparing for the Christmas season, the couple grow pumpkins for Halloween.

Emily said: “These are both very seasonal times of the year and people come here because it’s part of the celebration.

“The best bit about the job is seeing everyone so happy.

“I love meeting families and helping them pick out their Christmas tree – there really isn’t anything quite like it.”

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