Christmas just isn’t complete without the perfect Christmas tree.
Hundreds of locals will be heading out Oakdale’s Top Forty orchard this weekend to lay their claim on the ideal tree.
Orchard owner Lynette Rideout-Keanelly said the tree tagging days were being held earlier this year due to drought conditions and higher demand on trees.
“There is a shortage of Christmas tree farms in the Sydney basin after the closure of one of the Luddenham farms due to the future airport,” she said.
“We are getting a lot of their customers so we are holding the tree tagging weekend early so that none of our existing customers and and new ones miss out.
“The drought has slowed us down a bit with planting and the trees take three to four years to grow.
“Lots of people tag their trees years and years in advance.
“The longest we have is a tree tagged for 2022.”
Top Forty has hosted tree-tagging events for several years.
Mrs Rideout-Keanelly said there were many benefits to having a real Christmas tree.
“Environmentally, it’s a big benefit,” she said.
“For every tree we remove we plant a new one and they are a very carbon neutral crop so they emit lots of oxygen.
“They create a lot green space and great habitat with plenty of shade.
“Plastic trees are full of chemicals that will rot in landfill for a long time.
“The real trees can be recycled because when they are mulched we buy the mulch and use it to grow more trees.”
There are plenty of trees to choose from and Mrs Rideout-Keanelly said everyone had different taste.
“Some people want the short and fat ones, some people want tall and skinny and some want trees that fall somewhere in the middle,” she said.
“We always tell people that they grow about 30cm each year so to make sure they choose a tree with enough room to grow so that it will still fit in their house.
“There is no deposit, so there is no risk if something happens like, God forbid, a bushfire.”
Residents who wish to tag their tree can visit Top Forty Orchard anytime between 9am to 5pm on Saturday or Sunday.
“Come and enjoy the day out,” Mrs Rideout-Keanelly said.
“We will be running farm tours on the day which can be booked via the Top Forty Orchard Facebook page and we will also have some stonefruit, like peaches and plums, for sale.”