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The Humphrey Tree Farm of Springwater NY

Article contributed by Patricia Willsea.

Click any image to enlarge.

A History of the Humphrey Tree Farm of Springwater NY

By Katherine Humphrey in 2003

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The All Western Evergreen Nursery & Christmas Tree Farm was established in 1968.

William E. Humphrey, Katherine J. T. Humphrey and Jerrianne Kate Humphrey Scheiderich are the present operators.

The farm is located at 6840 Liberty Pole Road, P. O. Box 310, Springwater, NY 14560. Until 1998, the address used was P. O. Box 113, Webster’s Crossing, NY 14584.

The farm encompasses 245 acres. Approximately 45 acres are in Christmas Trees and the nursery. The remainder is in forestry and tillable land, buildings and roads.

The focus of the business is producing Christmas trees, nursery stock and high quality saw logs. We produce two to three thousand Christmas trees per year for wholesale and retail and choose and harvest five to ten thousand seedlings and transplants in the conifer nursery, saw logs every 10 to 15 years in the forest.

The business was established by William E. Humphrey - prior to 1968, it was a potato and cash crop farm. It was founded in 1966 from land inherited from Theodore R. Humphrey estate.

The original focus has changed. Originally the focus was on forestry and to keep the tillable land under cultivation. The wood lots were improved according to Department of Conservation (DEC) standards.

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In 1968 the first Christmas trees were planted, and approximately two to three thousand are planted yearly. A small conifer nursery was established in the 1970’s with the highest production at 33,000 seedlings a year, now around 10,000 seedlings and transplants. Over the years, culturing techniques and innovations in equipment were improved. Better seed sources were found, for example, true fir species such as Concolor fir, Fraser, Grand fir, and Canaan Fir became available and thrived on our farm. The Douglas-fir, Mexican Border Pine, Balsam fir, and Colorado Blue Spruce have been good sellers over the years. The newer species tend to hold their needles longer after being harvested than some of the older species.

Marketing techniques were introduced. We had no market share to begin with. Now we have an established clientele, wholesale, retail, and choose and harvest.

There were no structures on the land. In 1969 the home dwelling was built at 6840 Liberty Pole Road. A Morton Building was added in 1987. In 1998 a wood furnace was installed to heat the hot water and eventually we hope to heat the buildings.

Over the years planting was done first with specially made shovels, then with a one-row planter pulled by tractor. Seedling and transplant planters were then purchased. Now a planter with a significantly larger shoe and two bins is used.

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