Where does your Christmas tree come from?

Ceredigion based Teifi Christmas Trees has released a video on social media showing the year-round effort that goes into growing the ‘picture perfect’ Christmas tree that sits in your living room.

The video, created by Kate Rees whilst on maternity leave, shows the teamwork and all year round work that goes into the process.

Kate said: “I’m on maternity leave, and told my father in law that I could put a video together. I was worried I was overselling at first but it became our Christmas advert.

Jeff: “Trees need to be tended to throughout the year, growing Christmas trees isn’t just a case of planting and harvesting them.

“Not a lot of people know that, which is what inspired us to put this video together.

“It’s a very labour intensive process, it takes about 10 years for these trees to grow, and they need to be nurtured throughout their growth.

“Up until this year, we hand planted everything, carrying a sack of tree saplings and digging each hole out by shovel.

“This year is our first year planting using machinery. Many aspects of nurturing the trees are still done by hand. We hand shear and prune them so they grow into the perfect shape to make each a picture perfect tree.”

Teifi Trees
Teifi Trees are grown near Pontrhydfendigaid (Teifi Trees)

After more than 30 years of farming, initially started by Maldwyn, Jeff, and Dewi.

Now run by Jeff, his wife Mags, their eldest son Dan in Pontrhydfendigaid, have learned to balance livestock farming with farming their Frazier Firs Christmas trees - even learning to combine elements of the two.

The family have a ‘unique’ breed of sheep on their farm, which allows them to safely let these sheep graze in the same fields as their Christmas trees. They are called Shropshire Sheep, and they are one of few breeds that won’t eat Christmas trees.

By putting these sheep in the same fields as the Christmas trees, they can feed them and naturally remove any weeds growing in the fields, all while knowing the sheep won’t be tempted to take a bite out of the trees themselves.

Dan said: “Shropshire Sheep are uniquely capable of grazing alongside Christmas trees. They’re quite unique, we don’t know of any other breed that will only eat the grass, weeds and shrubbery around Christmas trees whilst avoiding the trees themselves. Putting them in there means we don’t need to mow the grass or treat the ground artificially. They’re great weed control.”

When it comes to planting and harvesting the trees, the job turns into a community commitment. Farmers from nearby come to help out, bringing their special machinery and ‘amazing work ethic’ to the job.

Mags said: “The harvesting crew is made up of local farmers who are good friends of the family. It’s a very good crew.

"They’ve all got amazing work ethic, they’re really hard workers. Some of them have been coming to help out for many years.”

The trees grown at Teifi Trees are sold across the UK, but if you’re local, not only can you buy one for yourself, but you can meet the crew that grew the trees.

They sell their trees outside Morrisons Aberystwyth everyday until Sunday the 17 December, from 10am to 5pm.