A Special Story of the Roger's Gardens Silvertip Fir
Silvertip Fir are a very special Christmas tree and their story is special. While almost all Christmas trees are grown in the low foothills of Oregon and Washington, Silvertips are true mountain trees.
Our Silvertip Firs grow at 7,500 ft elevation on a mountain farm near Susanville and Mt. Shasta, in Northern California. These trees come from a single farm in the Northern Sierra Nevada Mountains. The mountain they come from is majestic, with old growth forest, abundant wildlife, and an amazing view of Eagle Lake.
Since the trees are dormant when they are cut, they tend to hold up longer and better than other species, and can be harvested earlier in the season.
In early November, fifteen or sixteen hearty men ascend onto the mountain in trucks loaded with enough equipment to set up camp for three long weeks. This is quite different from the huge tree plantations in Oregon and Washington, some 400 miles away.
The logistics of the Silvertip harvest are fairly daunting. Just purchasing and transporting the necessary groceries for the crew and getting it up the mountain to the harvest camp is a challenge in itself. Early storms and snowfall are a constant worry and can interrupt the harvest, block the roads and curtail the season.
The crew cuts, bales and loads the trees onto semi trucks in frigid temperatures.
At 7,500 feet elevation, snow often interrupts their work. Mother Nature has forced them off the mountain more than once!
Equipment breakdowns are always problematic, with harvest occasionally at a standstill until a part can be delivered up the mountain.
With determination and strong spirits, the Silvertip harvest crew manages to get it done year after year.
At night the velvet black sky is lit with diamonds, while countless shooting stars jet across it.
Perhaps this is the reason these men return willingly to spend time together on the mountain. Whatever the reasons, it is with pride and determination that our incredible Silvertip supplier continues to provide for the Roger’s Gardens tree nursery customers who desire and appreciate the beautiful Silvertip Christmas tree.
The California Silvertip fir, in many ways is the last of a breed. Its story embraces the spirit the season - the old-fashioned, mountain grown Christmas tree. Now that you know the full story we hope you may better appreciate the very special tree.
By Ron Vanderhoff, VP & General Manager