Ridgefield U-Cut Tree Farm Keeps Demand Continuous
Sebastian Rubino / [email protected]
The Tree Wisemans, a U-shaped Christmas tree farm in Ridgefield, has been working to meet the demands of the busy winter season.
Sporting a name that is a play on the “Three Wise Men” tale in the Bible and a mixture of the owner’s last name, the farm has been providing Christmas trees to area residents for approximately four decades.
Owner Bruce Wiseman said he planted his first trees on the farm in 1980.
âIt was a former family farm that my parents bought in 1963, but they never had Christmas trees,â Wiseman said. âUnfortunately my dad passed away in 1979, and there were only cattle and hay (at the time), so my siblings and I made a deal with my mom and planted five acres of trees, and we never looked back because we kept planting trees until we had about 25 acres planted over the next six or seven years.
Wiseman said sales this holiday season have been “strong”. High demand in the area may cause the farm to close for the season, earlier than it normally would. In case the trees they grow on the farm are all cut down, Wiseman said he bought around 250 pre-cut trees from friends and neighbors to resell.
âThe growth (of trees) in the county is phenomenal, and of course they can only grow in the north and east because of the Columbia River coming from Portland and Vancouver, which goes all the way to Longview, so all this growth is basically we headed to our farm, “he said.” We couldn’t have picked a better place to have a Christmas tree farm 40 years ago. “
Originally, Wiseman exclusively wholesaled his trees while shipping them to California, Arizona, Texas, Alaska and even Hawaii. Their first harvest was in 1986. As the county’s population grew, Wiseman received requests from people who wanted to cut down their own trees, so he changed his business structure to a strictly U-shaped repeat model. Four years ago.
Tree Wisemans sells a variety of trees, the most popular being the noble fir. Wiseman said the trees have sturdier branches, which hold up well.
âI suspect that 60-65% of our business is probably noble fir,â he said.
Douglas firs are another big seller, but the trees have a slightly different branch structure, making it more difficult to hang ornaments on the trees because the Noble’s branches point outward.
The Big Fir, while not as popular as the Noble or the Douglas, is the most fragrant of the bunch, Wiseman said.
Once the holiday season is over, Wiseman said January and February brought the family a little more downtime as they cleared the fields after harvest and removed stumps.
In March, they will replant trees by hand, aided by the use of shovels. Keeping weeds under control is another important factor during this time. Once summer arrives, pest control is a high priority.
âIt’s a year round activity, except for those few months when you don’t have much to doâ¦ if you’re at the top of your farm, of course,â Wiseman said.
With a total of 55 acres, the remaining 30 are used by Wiseman and three of his five daughters, all of whom have homes on the farm.
The farm is located at 26500 NE 53rd Ave., Ridgefield. They are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More information about the farm can be found online at treewisemans.com.