Leader Control. What is it and why do we do it?4th August 2020
What is a leader?
The definition of a leader, according to the dictionary, is a person who leads or commands a group, organisation, or country. But the definition of a leader when it comes to Christmas trees is entirely different! The leader of a tree is the vertical stem at the top of the tree trunk.
Why is leader control important?
Leader control is a process where the leader is trimmed back to slow down the growth and give a fuller appearance at the top of the tree. This is carried out up to 6 times throughout June and July. We are forever monitoring and shaping our trees to ensure they have the traditional conical shape required in a good wholesale Christmas tree.
Great care is taken when selecting a straight leader; after all, we do strive for the perfect Christmas tree! Regular pruning throughout June and July encourages the remaining buds to grow more vigorously; this produces lots of branches making the trees bushy and more uniform. Most pruning is done with secateurs and by hand, meaning we spend a lot of time out on the farm tending to the trees.
While undertaking leader control, we also cut away the bottom branches to expose the base of the tree, which makes it easier to mount in your stand at Christmas. Our good friends over at Crimbotrees have Christmas tree stands available that will fit your tree perfectly! Cutting the bottom branches maximises airflow and helps to control fungal diseases.
Maintaining a wholesale Christmas tree farm is no small task, leader control is an ongoing process but one that is absolutely vital for the health of the trees.