OUR HISTORY ^
At Mahoney’s, the holidays have become one the most exciting times for us as a company and a family. We love to see generations of families come through our doors each season who have adopted the Mahoney’s shopping experience as their own family tradition. It has motivated us for decades to work hard all year long to bring our customers top-quality holiday products, with a one-stop-shop experience for Christmas trees, wreaths, decorations, and holiday plants.
That’s why in 1975, my father, Paul Mahoney Sr., ventured to Nova Scotia in search of a better way to source Christmas trees for our customers. With growing our own plants being a core philosphy for three generations now, it only made sense for him to extend this to our Christmas Tree offering. By growing our own trees, we’re able to control the quality, quantity and delivery process to bring the best and freshest product to our retail stores. 40 Christmas seasons later, we will cut and ship approximately 12,000 Balsam Fir Christmas trees this year to our retail stores in addition to sourcing another 10,000 from quality growers who provide Fraser, Noble, Grand and Nordmann Fir Trees.
At Mahoney’s Evergreens, growing responsibly and sustainably is our passion. Many would be surprised to find that the layout of the plantation is actually not orderly rows of easily-farmed trees. Instead, we grow in an undeveloped and wild forest ecosystem, where all trees are naturally re-seeded. The terrain is full of swamps, hills, and thick forests with pockets of prime tree growing space. Throughout the plantation there are 12 to 30 foot tall “mother” or “seed trees” that are strategically left standing to produce seed cones. The seed cones are pollinated by the wind randomly over the plantation. So, even though 12,000 trees a year are harvested, we only cut what we need, and we don’t deplete the land as far more seedlings sprout up on their own each year. At any given time we have over 1 million trees and seedlings actively growing.
If you’re wondering why we grow all the way in Canada, the answer is pretty simple: In 1996 Lunenberg County, Nova Scotia was officially named the Balsam Fir Christmas Tree Capital of the World. You’ll find Mahoney’s Evergreens situated 30 miles from the nearest hotel, restaurant or grocery store. The climate of warm, wet summers encourage thick green foliage growth. Cold harsh winters kill insect and disease and therefore do not require frequent spraying of herbicides and pesticides.
THE GROWING PROCESS^
While we do carry other tree varieties in our stores such as Fraser and Noble Fir, we only grow Balsams on the plantation. Balsam Fir trees are the most popular variety in New England and known for their fragrance, dark green color and superior needle retention. Did you know that not all balsams are created equal? Those grown in Nova Scotia have heavier branching with a more rounded brush. Not only do they look better, the branches support ornaments and your tree trimmings better, too! You’ll see this difference in our cut greens and wreaths which are also grown on the farm.
Many are also surprised to learn that their 7-8’ balsam took over 14 years to grow. It’s a funny way of thinking of things, but we are always operating 14 years into the future at Mahoney’s Evergreens. With frequent trips with a team of specialists, we make the trek to Canada to manage the land and tend to the trees until they are ready for harvest. On an uneven terrain full of brush, it is quite a labor intensive feat!