2022-12-08 12:30:59 By : Mr. Frank Zhang

As I'm starting to write this article, I am soaking wet and sitting in my car just outside Wyckoff Christmas Tree Farm. The skies are pouring and the temperature is in the low 40s and I should feel cold, but having just spent 45 minutes talking with owner John C. Wyckoff I actually feel quite warm.

Because that's what this place does to you. It warms your heart.

I've heard about Wyckoff Christmas Tree Farm for some time but it's the first I’ve been here. I simply came to get some first-hand pictures of why they have been popping up in the news for the last few years, which is their colored Christmas trees. Through a special painting process, you can have a Christmas tree in a vibrant purple, blue, orange, or pretty much any color you can imagine.

More on that in a second, but I just need to say this place is so much more. If Christmas is all about family, so is this farm.

You may only know it as a Christmas tree farm since it's been around in that incarnation since 1958. What you might not know is it has been a working family farm of one type or another for 183 years and passed on through eight generations. Think about that a moment. It’s been a working farm in the same family since a quarter century before the Civil War.

Its owner, John, heard why I was there and decided on the spot to walk me around the place and give me a tour and talk about the history. You could not find a kinder gentleman if you tried.

I learned so much, like what an art form it is making Christmas wreaths so beautiful. Of course, John downplays it like it's nothing but trust me I wouldn't last a day in his wreath-making shop.

Across from that workshop is the Christmas Barn, a little store where you can buy those handmade wreaths and anything from tasty Christmas treats to handcrafted ornaments to locally produced wines to locally made honey.

Now, those colored trees? They've been selling like crazy for several years now. And once word got out, all kinds of people want them. People who just want to try something novel. Folks who have a certain room’s color scheme in mind.

John tells me he’s even had a woman obsessed with the color purple, dressed in purple, purple pocketbook, purple shoes, who just had to have a purple tree.

It's basically a spray painting process, but you want to do it on a day when the wind is low and also when the temperature is not going to drop below 40 so that the paint can set overnight without a freeze. That, like everything else on this Christmas tree farm, has a science behind it.

John says every day he has worked there for all these years he’s learned something new about the Christmas tree business.

The man ought to be proud. He's won national competitions which have brought him to the White House to deliver their official Christmas tree in 2013. He's met Michelle Obama. John and his family met Mike Pence in 2019 and one of Wyckoff’s trees graced then-Vice President Mike Pence’s living room.

If you're feeling Warren County is too far of a drive, you won't feel that way once you're there. Wyckoff Christmas Tree Farm is at 246 County Road 519 in Belvidere. Here's their website for details on hours and more information.

Now the farm’s main draw is people wanting to cut down their own tree, but they have plenty of fresh-cut trees from which to choose as well. That represents a good 15% of their business in fact. While there I even saw something called a Nordmann fir whose seeds originally come from the nation of Georgia. They take a couple extra years to grow and are said to be thick, full and with sturdier branches for heavier ornaments, and they are absolutely gorgeous.

The 183-year-old farm where potatoes were grown and cows were milked became this amazing award-winning tree farm in an experiment gone awry.

Awry in a good way.

John’s ancestors took a small section of the farm just to see if it could be done having no clue it would become a national championship-winning Christmas tree farm that has served the White House along with generations of New Jersey families. Whether it’s a traditional, beautiful tree, a colored one, ornaments or wine from their Christmas Barn or a festive wreath, you’ll love shopping here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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