By Miles Merwin, Ridgeback Tree Farm
The winter holiday season is busy not only for those Co-op members working hard to meet the demand for bundled firewood, but also for those of us who sell evergreen boughs. During November and December, we harvest boughs from our own forests and sell them wholesale to florists in the northern Willamette Valley. Our customers in Portland and Salem use our boughs to create table decorations, centerpieces and special arrangements for holiday decorations.
Planning for the upcoming season starts in Sept. and Oct. as we gather orders, which are then divided among the Co-op members supplying boughs. This year we have seven Co-op families involved in our bough program, which began 10 years ago.
To insure that we supply our customers with fresh, high quality evergreens, OWC follows a detailed protocol for harvesting and packing. We currently supply eight different species of native Oregon conifers, including Noble fir, Western red cedar, and Ponderosa pine. We don’t harvest boughs more than a week ahead of delivery and keep them cool to maintain freshness. Our members bring all their boughs to our barn as a central collection point. Then we assemble the species that each customer has ordered, load it all in the trailer, and hit the road to deliver. This process is repeated every week during our short but intense bough sales season.
Through our sister company, Oregon Heartwood, we can also supply retail customers with fresh evergreen boughs for home decorations, wreath making, etc. We can ship boughs anywhere in the continental US. Learn more about retail bough sales.