Florida Sand Pine, the Christmas Tree Choice of the Year
|November 19, 2010||Posted by admin under Agriculture, FAPC, Farms, Horticulture|
It still amazes me how Florida, being a state with a tropical climate, has the ability to grow Christmas trees. Am I biased because I work with the Christmas tree industry? Of course I am, especially when I hear the stories from our Christmas tree farmers that grow trees for passion or because it is an occupation passed on through family generations.
The “star” tree featured this year is the Florida Sand Pine. They mostly grow in central and Panhandle areas in Florida. What I like about these trees is the unconventional shapes of its branches and thin needles. Are you wondering where to find Sand Pines? Our Fresh from Florida member Gibbs Christmas Tree Farm is one of your best options.
I had a great chat with owners Mike and Brenda Gibbs recently
- How long you’ve been growing Christmas Trees?
We planted our first crop in Jan. 1996. We did not sell until 2002 when we officially opened that November.
- How did you start your business?
We bought the property and decided to plant Christmas trees after a lot of research. We moved to the property in 1999 and once we opened, word of mouth and signs built our business.
- What’s your most successful marketing strategy?
Until this year, signs were our best advertising. Now that code enforcement is hindering this method, this year we are doing a bulk mailing and planning a new mailing area every year.
- Please share with us your favorite anecdote.
We are very particular and meticulous about trimming our trees so they are a nice tree shape. We have one customer that comes to visit every year that wants the biggest, most wild tree on the property. They always go into the old area that we don’t trim.
- Any tips for handling Christmas trees that are not commonly known, if any?
One thing about our Florida grown Christmas trees is that they need to be kept out of the sun once they have been cut. Many people think because they are grown in the Florida sun, they can be stored in the sun. They will burn and dehydrate just like a Northern tree.
- Let us know if you have a particular item, species or special you would like to promote amongst our readers.
We grow only one kind of tree, the Sand Pine. We do sell potted trees, wreaths and Christmas tree accessories.
At Gibbs Christmas Tree Farm you can walk through thousands of trees and pick the perfect Florida Grown Christmas Tree or select a potted tree that can be replanted after the holidays. They’re family owned and operated and are open to the public between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Take a road trip with your family and friends to buy your tree at Gibbs Christmas Tree Farm if you’re not in the Citra area. It’s worth the ride. Let Brenda and Mike know that you read this blog. They will love to hear that. Contact them at (352)546-2365. Happy holidays!