January 23rd, 2021

Christmas tree trip a tradition

By Greg Bobinec on December 9, 2020.

Lights and a sign adorn the entrance to a Christmas tree lot at the southside Canadian Tire. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

LETHBRIDGE HERALDgbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

For the last 26 years, the Mattatall family has been bringing their Christmas trees from their Timberland Farms in Nova Scotia to Lethbridge Canadian Tire locations for local families to enjoy around the holidays.
Growing up on the Christmas tree farm, Skip Mattatall, owner of Timberland Farms, a Christmas tree farm, says it has been his whole life growing and selling these trees, and it is something he enjoys through the whole process.
“My family has been at this location for the last 26 years, I am from Nova Scotia I grow the trees and bring them out to Lethbridge,” says Mattatall. “I have been in this trade my whole life. I grew up in it growing them, selling, and everything in between from when we plant them until they are in people’s homes.”
Returning to southern Alberta each year, Mattatall says that the atmosphere around Christmas tree buying is really enjoyable, and getting to reunite with families each year for this holiday tradition is the best part.
“I really enjoy the people and the atmosphere of it all around the holidays, I really enjoy every aspect of the tree industry, but coming out here and talking to people is nice, you always run into some of the same people every year and it is really nice to be able to catch up with them,” says Mattatall.
Although in past years, artificial trees have been on the rise, some families are returning to natural trees for not only the more environmentally friendly option, but also to bring more festivity into the home, especially during this year’s pandemic Christmas.
“We sell Nova Scotia Boston fern and we have sizes available from two feet to 16 feet,” says Mattatell. “It is definitely seen a surge in the last three to four years, but it is definitely coming back recently. I’m not exactly sure but I think that people are realizing that the artificial trees aren’t as great for the environment as they originally thought.”
Mattatall responded to Tuesday’s story in The Herald, saying larger trees are widely available, including Canadian Tire North, and he, as the person who grows the stock, says there was no disease that affected the trees.
“I sit on the Nova Scotia Christmas Tree Council, I am very involved in the tree industry, it’s my livelihood, and I have yet to see a disease to take out any type of tree in the last 15 years,” says Mattatall.

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