Christmas at Cawley Farms

By Sandra Zunino

At Cawley Tree Farm, LLC, the long-standing family tradition of choosing and cutting down the Christmas tree is alive and well. Charles “Charlie” Cawley, Sr., and partner Bob Adams maintain about 10,000 trees on the 10-acre parcel so families can make holiday memories for years to come.

Located in Denton, Cawley Farms has many varieties and sizes of living Christmas trees available to live cut, or dig up for transplanting after the holidays. “It’s a neat atmosphere,” says Charlie. “We have families who come back year after year.”

Customers often bring cameras and get their pictures taken by their tree. After selecting a tree, customers can cut down the tree themselves or have it cut down by the helpful staff at the tree farm. Before the tree is netted for transport, it is placed on a tree shaker, which literally shakes dead and loose needles and debris out of the tree.

Cutting down a tree on site provides the freshest Christmas tree possible, which allows the maximum length of safe display time. Trees that become too dry can become a fire hazard. Charlie recommends recycling cut trees once they are taken down. Each county has programs that turn the trees into valuable mulch.

Clients who wish to transplant their tree may dig it up themselves, or Cawley Farms will dig, ball and wrap the tree for an additional fee. This service; however, requires one week notice. In fact, Cawley Farms sells balled and wrapped trees throughout the year.

Cawley Farms plants all the traditional Christmas tree varieties including Norway spruce, Blue Spruce, Douglas Firs and White Pine. They also have Concolor Firs – a hybrid evergreen that produces the softer needles of the firs, but the blue color of a spruce.

Christmas trees are priced according to height with trees six feet tall and under at $42, all the way to $112 for 12 feet or higher. Charlie says the typical tree size is about eight feet tall. Those with houses with cathedral ceilings may opt for larger trees.

Recognizing financial restraints of the recent economy, this year Cawley Farms placed all White Pine trees on sale for only $25, regardless of size. “We try to find something new each year,” says Charlie. Also new this year, Cawley Farms is selling decorated wreaths to benefit Habitat for Humanities.

In business for roughly 20 years, Cawley Farms has operated at this location for approximately 10 years and another location 10 years prior. Between locations, they were unable to operate for a couple years as they lost the tree crop to drought. Two thousand new trees are planted each year. Plans for the future include adding a greenhouse to grow English Boxwoods. Charlie grows English Boxwoods as a hobby. It takes years for an English Boxwood to reach a marketable size, he says.

The tree farm is a part-time endeavor, as both partners work full time. Consequently, the farm is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. This Saturday, December 13 from 1:00 p.m to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 14 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit the farm to meet children and pose for pictures.

Cawley Farms is a member of the Maryland Christmas Tree Association. For more information about Cawley Farms visit http://www.cawleyfarms.com or call 410-479-4720.

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