Families in North Bay keeping traditions alive with real Christmas trees
SUDBURY -- With less then a month to go until Christmas, the local tree lot in North Bay was busy on Saturday with many people picking out that perfect tree for the holidays.
“It’s our family tradition,” said Anna Fosiy who was there with her husband and two children.
“We love getting that fresh tree, we love the smell in our house and it’s great to support the local economy.”
The Fosiy family had their tree loaded on-top of the car early Saturday afternoon with a whole day of festivities laying ahead.
“We usually go home and decorate the Christmas tree,” said Andre Fosiy.
“Then we make hot chocolate for the kids. We have ornaments that we get every year to grow our ornaments and we hang those on the tree.”
Both Anna and Rhys were excited to get into the Christmas spirit.
“I love Christmas trees because we get to put a lot of stuff on it,” explained Rhys when asked what he was most excited for after finding that perfect tree.
Copeman Christmas Trees, which is located just outside of Parker’s Independent Grocer, has been serving the community for over 50 years.
Now with over half a century of experience, Bill Copeman says he has a tree for everyone this season.
“If you like the scotch we have it, if you like the white spruce we have it, if you like the Serbian spruce we have it, if you like the fraser fir we have it, we have the balsam fir,” said Copeman.
“See everybody likes something different.”
As of Saturday the tree lot has four different kind of trees available, with three more on the way by Dec.1, giving people seven different options to choose from this year.
“Years ago it was scotch pine and white spruce, but now they’ve been replaced by the fir trees because they prune so easily, they’re so pretty,” explained Copeman when asked about which tree is most popular for Christmas.
“The fraser fir are blue green, the balsam fir are a nice dark green, the white pine exists now. I love the white pine because it lasts for two-three months.”
Copeman says that real trees are popular because many families use it as a family tradition. Adding that this year, with many people stuck at home due to the pandemic, it gives people a chance to get out and safely start celebrating Christmas.
“They want to get the decorations up, if they have to stay home, they’ll have the tree all lit up, the presents under the tree and they can start watching Christmas movies and have fun with the family that lives with them,” he said.
Dave Shawana also loaded up a new tree on his truck Saturday as part of an annual tradition.
“My wife’s out shopping today with my daughter so this is my usual duty,” he said.
“So it’s nice, it would have been nice to have a little bit of white stuff on the ground to create that atmosphere but ya, you know, it’s exciting. Every time of year we do this.”
“[Our] traditions are decorations,” he adds.
“Sometimes with a teenage family, it’s nice to keep that tradition as we all get around the tree and put some decorations on it. So ya, it’s a tradition that we keep.”
Copeman says that people are buying earlier this year with his sales already seeing an increase before the month of December.
However, even with earlier shoppers and new customers, he says he has enough for everyone and the surrounding area.
“I plant my own trees, either from seed or by the seedlings. But we have lots of trees for all the local people from North Bay down to Emsdale, or Orillia, or wherever.”
He says he even has some customers from Toronto, Barrie and Sudbury driving to buy his trees.
“It’s $10 a foot. So if it’s a 6ft, it’s $60. 5t it’s $50. If it’s 7ft it’s $70,” he explains.
“They’re all guaranteed because we’re here every year.”
For those looking to buy a real tree for the first time, Copeman’s advice is to set it up right away and make sure you give it plenty of water.
Those looking to visit the Copeman Tree Farm in Sundridge have to make an appointment during the week, but it is open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends.
Copeman says come the New Year they will also be offering snowshoeing and cross country skiing to give people a chance to get outside and safely enjoy the fresh air.