Tom Vally examines the tree he’s had cut down at Pat Brooks’ tree farm in Sooke. Nothing beats the look and smell of a real tree at Christmas, he said (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

No Christmas tree shortage in Sooke

Brooks Christmas Tree Farm has 3,000 holiday trees, ready and waiting

A Hawaiian beach should be about the last place on Earth to inspire a couple to get into Christmas tree farming.

But that’s exactly where Sooke residents Pat and Mervin Brooks came up with the idea for their venture.

“It was the wife’s doing. We were lying under the sun on the beach and Pat turned to me with the idea. That was almost 30 years ago, and we’re still at it,” Mervin Brooks said.

The Brooks’ operate a well-known Christmas tree business on their two-hectare lot on Whiffin Spit Road in Sooke, and Pat said that they’re definitely not a part of the reported shortage of Christmas trees affecting other parts of North America.

RELATED: No shortage at smaller farms

“We have about 3,000 trees here and people are welcome to come out, pick one, cut it down, and make it part of their Christmas celebration,” Pat said.

“They aren’t all the perfect conical shaped trees that people sometimes imagine, but there enough out there so that everyone can get the perfect tree for their family, even if a few of them are sort of like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”

Mervin said part of the shortage of trees elsewhere might be due to older tree farmers getting out of the business and the younger generation choosing to pursue other options.

“Let’s face it, at $32 a tree, you’re not going to get rich and you won’t be buying that Cadillac any time soon,” he said with a grin.

At the Brooks Christmas Tree Farm, customers are welcome to come in and cut down their own tree, and Pat is happy to lend them a good hand saw to make that happen.

“We have families come in with little children who want to help cutting the trees. We lend them a saw and they’re off to the races. The kids love it”

Of course for those who don’t trust themselves to fell the trees, Mervin is happy to step in to help.

That was the case for Tom Vally as he watched Mervin Brooks make short work of the tree that Vally selected.

“I just love the look and the smell of a real tree. It makes it feel like Christmas,” Vally said.

But people who are hoping to visit a large retailer in search of that perfect tree may be in for disappointment.

The recession of 2008 caused some larger tree farms to curtail their planting as a cost saving measure. A decade later, the amount of time for the perfect Christmas tree to grow to it’s proper height, that action is coming home to roost.

Some species of trees are in short supply and for retailers it’s meant the price might be significantly higher than in previous years, and customers may not leave smiling.

“I think it’s better to come to a smaller operation like ours and cut your own tree anyway, ” Pat said.

“We never had to cut down on our planting and we’ve got lots of trees, just waiting to go to the perfect home.”



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria council recommends prioritizing housing for people in the area for at least a year

The motion passed unanimously during committee of the whole meeting

Sooke Bluffs staircase closed due to rot

District to consider replacement for ‘high risk’ staircase in fall

VicPD uses ‘less-lethal’ rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

Vancouver Island MLA says too much on shoulders of RCMP

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Most Read