Christmas tree

Cameron at Tree Towne

I finally had to put my friend, Isabel’s, small Christmas tree away (a godsend for two Christmases). Lights were dead, and dust was yaythick, and the kids will want to see a real tree for Christmas.

So, since there were only two trees left at Publix (and rather brown looking at that), I decided to go to Tree Towne, and was met by Cameron Vanderee, who had both arms clad in wreaths like bracelets. “Want a wreath?” he asked. No, I said. “I want a tree. Help me pick one out, and give me tips so that I can spread the word.”

About Cameron: He’s been coming to Florida with Tree Towne for 8 years, since he was 19 years old. It’s a kind of vacation for him. When he’s not doing Christmas trees, he works in construction. Cameron is from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tree Towne has a variety of trees. This year, it had Frasers, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir and Noble Fir. On this lot (in Boynton Beach), Tree Towne had trees up to 13 feet, but, people have ordered trees up to 20 feet. It will sell 10,000 trees this Christmas, Cameron told me.

I said, not for me. No wreaths. “Give me something no taller than you and something that will last through Christmas.”

He told me to buy the Fraser. In his opinion, it lasts longer, has a nice scent and is priced reasonably.

So, I asked, how do you tell if it’s fresh?

He broke a tip off of one of the ends, and said to see if it looks like it still has some green left in it, and some sap. I hadn’t thought of that one.

Run your hand along one of the branches, and the needles should not come off (I knew that already).

What about the other trees? Some people like the Douglas Fir because they like the puffiness of it, he said. The Grand Fir (from Oregon) has a slight citrus smell to it. The Noble Fir is similar to the Fraser and holds its needles.

Any tricks to keeping them green? Cut off the bottom of the trunk a little. Keep it watered (obviously), he said, and when you water it the first time, some people claim that warm water helps. It’s supposed to open up the tree cells.

Tree Towne sells something for that purpose, and some people put aspirin or sugar in the water…

I tried the warm water routine, but he picked me out a nice tree….

Tree Towne has a north county location in Jupiter at Indiantown Road and Old Dixie HIghway.

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