Local Christmas tree businesses are booming

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Tom and Ali Bouffard haul in two trees they chose and cut at Asack and Son tree farm in Barton.  Although the couple lives in Rhode Island, Mr. Bouffard was raised in Newport and his family has been buying their annual Christmas tree at Asack’s for as long as he can remember.  The second tree is for Ms. Bouffard’s parents in Massachusetts.  Photo by Elizabeth Trail

Tom and Ali Bouffard haul in two trees they chose and cut at Asack and Son tree farm in Barton. Although the couple lives in Rhode Island, Mr. Bouffard was raised in Newport and his family has been buying their annual Christmas tree at Asack’s for as long as he can remember. The second tree is for Ms. Bouffard’s parents in Massachusetts. Photo by Elizabeth Trail

copyright the Chronicle December 2, 2015

by Elizabeth Trail 

By most accounts, this is shaping up to be a banner year for people in the Christmas tree business.

“Fantastic,” was the one word description from Richard Labrecque of Barton, who buys trees wholesale in Canada and sells them to retailers in New York and southern New England. Mr. Labrecque has hauled about 5,000 trees this year.

“The best Black Friday ever,” said Bill Asack of Asack and Son, a choose-and-cut tree farm in Barton.

For people in the Christmas tree business, this is the make or break season. But the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are just a small part of the work involved.

“It’s almost year-round — one thing after another from April ’til Christmas,” said Sue Tester, who helps her husband, Bill, at Tester’s Star Farm in West Glover. “And November is flat out.”

The year begins even earlier for Bill and Andy Asack. The biggest part of their… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Christmas trees growers turn to the Canaan fir

copyright the Chronicle 12-18-13

by Natalie Hormilla

christmas tree tester

Bill Tester stands with one of his balsam and Fraser fir hybrids at his choose and cut stand in Barton. Photo by Natalie Hormilla

“I will never plant another balsam again,” said Steve Moffatt.  “Between the frost and the disease and the insect issues, I won’t.”

Mr. Moffatt owns and operates Moffatt’s Tree Farm in Craftsbury with his wife, Sharon.

This year is about the tenth year that Mr. and Ms. Moffatt have run the family business, which has been operating in some capacity or another since the 1960s.  Mr. Moffatt’s dad, Jim, still works at the farm, where he was born. Continue reading

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