It's Christmas tree season again

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., Dec. 3, 2013
Manning the Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company tree lot on Dec. 1 are (l-r): President Dave Martin, Kaitlyn Standish (cadet), Steve Shorts (volunteer firefighter), Rachel Collett (cadet), Annamarie Cwikla (tree sale chairperson), Arnold Ewings (volunteer firefighter) and Jackie Joseph. With them is Daze, the company mascot. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Manning the Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company tree lot on Dec. 1 are (l-r): President Dave Martin, Kaitlyn Standish (cadet), Steve Shorts (volunteer firefighter), Rachel Collett (cadet), Annamarie Cwikla (tree sale chairperson), Arnold Ewings (volunteer firefighter) and Jackie Joseph. With them is Daze, the company mascot. Photo by Melanie Savage.

Icy early-morning roads and dreary, drizzly weather the morning of Dec. 1 had slowed down traffic to a certain extent at the Colchester Hayward Volunteer Fire Company tree lot. But volunteers, gathered around an oil-drum fire amid the sharp scent of freshly-cut pine, said that there had been plenty of earlier business. “Next weekend and the weekend after will definitely be our busiest times,” said Annamarie Cwikla, chairperson of the Christmas tree fundraiser.

The tree lot has been a fixture on the corner of Old Hartford Road and Old Hebron Road for decades, and serves as a major fundraiser for the Company, the volunteer portion of the Colchester Hayward Fire Department. “The money goes to pay for things that aren’t supported by town funding,” said Fire Company President Dave Martin. Items such as improvements to the company training facility and the refurbishment of the old fire house across from the Colchester Post Office are paid for via fundraising, said Martin.

Several years ago, the Company switched from trees purchased from Canada to trees produced locally, at Allen Hill Tree Farm in Brooklyn. The Company couldn’t be happier with the switch. “The trees are so fresh,” said Cwikla. In addition to Douglas fir, Frasier fir and blue spruce, the sale features wreaths hand-made by Fire Company members. “This year we’ve got a few cemetery boxes, too,” said Cwikla. Trees range in size from 6 to 10 feet, and are priced at $40 each. There is twine and assistance available for loading on vehicles. Hours are 4:30 to 8 p.m. during the week, and 9 a.m. to closing (which varies according to traffic) on weekends.

For cut-your-own trees in Colchester, check out Evergreen Acres at 464 Windham Ave., 860-537-2019 or 860-463-4014. Also Reneson’s Christmas Tree Farm at 268 Bull Hill Road, 860-267-0448 or 860-508-6072. Mark's Tree Farm, at 79 Sashel Lane, is carrying blue spruce, white spruce and Norway spruce this year. Contact Mark's at 860-537-1376 or markdiane1@juno.com. For other local growers, go to the Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers website at www.ctchristmastree.org and click on your county.


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