St Nicholas trees are grown on a small family owned property located between Sydney and Canberra. The farm is just outside Goulburn, nestled in the foothills of the Southern Tablelands. The property has been in the family for four generations dating back to 1920.
The early plantings on the 257 hectare farm were originally undertaken in the early 1980s. Like much of eastern Australia, the paddocks had been cleared extensively to graze sheep. As the ownership of the property passed from one generation to another it was obvious that the clearing had gone too far. There was an urgent need to replant trees for stock protection and erosion control.
The first Christmas trees from the farm were harvested in the late 1980s. At this time the trees selected for Christmas trees were those that had been planted in the wrong spot or had to be thinned out from an area that had been planted too heavily. The trees were supplied to friends and neighbours at Christmas time. The demand for these trees gradually expanded to the point where blocks were specifically planted for Christmas trees.
Many years of careful planning, experimentation in species selection, establishment techniques and pruning methods have led to what can be seen today. We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to survive the drought through careful planning and perseverance.
The current owners have a combination of over 50 years experience in tree growing linked with a professional forestry background. This helps ensure that the trees grown today are given the best possible chance of demonstrating their full potential before they are sold.
The trees are established and cultivated to world best standards and the farm has won several awards for sustainable landcare and rivercare practices.
Generic selection for multiple branching and extensive pruning help to ensure the final trees are as bushy as possible. Every tree is individually hand pruned and shaped up to six times before it reaches the market.
After planting, each tree is individually sprayed to control the grasses that would otherwise compete for moisture and nutrients. This allows the tree to exhibit advanced vigour in its early years. Coupled with controlled fertiliser applications a far stronger and healthier final tree is produced ready for market in less than three years.
Every operation undertaken throughout the three year life of the tree is aimed at producing the best possible tree for the market place. In the past trees have reached the Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Woollongong markets.