A piece of Wexford County to bring holiday cheer to Detroit | News

MANTON – What took five decades to grow was cut down, bundled and shipped to Detroit.

The 60-foot crew of spruce trees, recently cut down, will be part of Detroit’s vacation landscape as the city’s Christmas tree. It will be located in the inner city area of ​​Campus Martius Park. The city’s tree lighting is scheduled for November 19th.

Steve Vanderweide said that Dutchman Tree Farms near Manton has been supplying giant conifers to the city and Ford Field, among others, for the past 15 years. Although Vanderweide is the founder of the tree farm, he’s now retired, but he still enjoys making the bigger trees.

“We don’t advertise these customers. It’s a big process. We do a lot in the 30-foot range, but not much over 30 feet or more, ”he said. “That tree was 50 years old.”

He said that they usually don’t have trees of this size and age on their farm and are not found in a person’s front yard. He said they need to find them and usually on heavily wooded lots. He also said it couldn’t be just any tree.

They have to be of a certain type, with a certain shape and density. They are not easy to find, said Vanderweide.

“We have five guys who have made it every year. We cut 14 in one day, all of which were over 12m long and had to be moved 50 miles, ”he said. “The guys who do this are very skilled and talented.”

Vanderweide said there is no big win and it means a lot of work to find, harvest and haul these big trees. It doesn’t always work either. When trees get this big and old, they can be fragile, and when tied, branches can break. Even after all that, said Vanderweide, it’s all still worth it.

“When someone puts a tree in their house, we rarely receive pictures. This is how a whole city begins its vacation, ”he said. “It’s a good, warm feeling for the company and the people who work here.”

Vanderweide said that with the calendar reversed to November, the Dutchman Tree Farm will enter the busiest time of the year. Starting November 15 and for the next 10 days, trees will be moved from the farm to countless lots and businesses across the country. To put that in perspective, he said that one in 25 houses with a real tree was made by Dutch people.

“Right now it’s the calm before the storm,” he said. “I’m pretty proud of what my son-in-law and nephews are doing. You’re doing a great job. “

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