GILFORD — Nothing inspires the Christmas spirit like a beautiful fragrant fir tree trimmed with colorful decorations and sparkling lights. And Lakes Region residents have lots of options for finding that perfect tree, whether they prefer to cut their own or pick one from a retail lot.
Christmas trees are being offered for sale at many locations throughout the area, with charitable organizations raising funds for their projects through the sales, like the Gilford Rotary Club, which is now in its 29th year of selling trees.
This year, they are set up at the Gilford Cinema 8 Plaza on Route 11, where they are selling freshly cut Fraser fir and balsam fir trees in all shapes and sizes, from table top to 12 feet tall. Sales started Friday and run from noon till 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 13.
The Laconia Kiwanis Club is selling trees on Court Street in a lot next to Coldwell Banker Real Estate from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily and are offering free delivery for their customers. Proceeds will benefit the Belknap House, a seasonal shelter for the homeless which is being developed in Laconia.
And on Route 106 in Belmont, the Friends of Belmont Football are selling Christmas trees at at the Gates Farm, just south of the Country Kitchen outlet. They offer balsam fir, Fraser fir and the hybrid Fralsam fir. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
In New Hampshire, there are nearly 200 Christmas tree farms throughout the state, most of them family owned and operated, tending thousands of perfect trees. Many of them offer a cut-your-own experience, like Lemay Tree Farm on Emerson Road in Gilford, just off from Swain Road near the top of Liberty Hill.
Owner Greg Lemay has been growing trees since there since 1981 and has between 5,000 and 6,000 trees on 10 acres. His trees include Fraser and balsam firs, as well a blue spruce – "The ones with the prickly needles," says Lemay – as well as white pine, and the Concolor fir, which is native to American Southwest and has a citrus fragance like tangerines.
"People come here from all over the state just because of the white pine. We're one of the few tree farms which sells them," said Lemay.
He also has a $10 corral, which is populated by Scotch pine, the trees he originally raised and which have since fallen out of favor.
Other cut-your-own operations include the Muehlke Family Tree Farm on Belknap Mountain Road in Gilford, which, in addition to the other popular varieties, offers Colorado blue spruce and white spruce; Fox Farm on Upper Bay Road in Sanbornton; Watson Farm on Watson Road off from South Road in Belmont, where all trees are $35; Neva Dun Farm on Peacham Road in Barnstead; Glove Hollow Christmas Tree Farm on Route 3 south of Plymouth; and Third Stone Christmas Tree Farm on Garland Road in Barnstead Parade.
Caption pix slugged Lemay tree
Greg Lemay of Lemay's Tree Farm in Gilford measured an eight-foot high Fraser Fir which was cut by Joy Southworth and Amy Breton of Gilford , who were helped out in their search for the perfect tree by 15-week-old Marco, a Yellow Lab. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 311