BELCHERTOWN – It’s Christmas tree season, and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott J. Soares visited Radebaugh Christmas Tree Farm on Friday to talk about the benefits of buying trees fresh and local.
“Historically, the day after Thanksgiving… we go to a farm and cut down the first tree of the season,” Soares said.
“We’re trying to showcase the diversity of the agricultural industry here in the Commonwealth and Christmas trees are one of them. This allows us to keep many acres, around 5,000, in working landscapes,” he said. -he declares.
Cutting down a tree is an eco-friendly alternative to buying a fake from a store, said Soares and David B. Radebaugh, the owner of the tree farm.
Radebaugh said the fake trees are made with petroleum byproducts and made in other countries. Buying a fresh tree supports the local economy and also helps ensure that the land remains agricultural, he said.
Soares said the trees are specifically grown to be cut and new trees are being planted in their place.
He said there are about 200 Christmas tree farms across Massachusetts. They can be found by visiting www.arbres-de-noel.org.
Radebaugh is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the Christmas tree business and, in addition to the Franklin Street location, also owns a tree farm in Wilbraham at 930 Stony Hill Road. Prices for trees range from $ 30 to $ 90. He has over 1,000 trees to choose from between the two farms. Varieties include blue spruce, concolor, white pine, and fraser fir. Some are up to 12 feet tall.
“I get people from all over the place,” said Radebaugh, who quit construction 15 years ago to work full-time in the Christmas tree business his father started.
People can chop the tree down themselves or enlist the help of a Radebaugh employee.
Tips for the Christmas tree from David Radebaugh
• Make sure the trunk is straight
• Make sure there are no bird nests inside; they might have mice inside
• For more information on how to find local Christmas tree farms, visit
• To learn how to pick and care for a tree, visit
David Radebaugh owns Radebaugh’s Tree Farm at 191 Franklin St. in Belchertown and 930 Stony Hill Road in Wilbraham
Radebaugh offered the following advice to those choosing a tree for the first time: Make sure the trunk is straight and there are no bird nests in the tree. Mice can live in nests, he said.
The rest is up to the individual, he said. Some people like big trees, others like small ones. He said concolor smells of citrus and frasers have soft needles and tend to last a long time.
John B. DiNuovo of Palmer was there with his 22-year-old daughter Emily, picking out a tree for the holidays. DiNuovo said going to Radebaugh’s was a 20-year tradition in his family.
“In our house, it was always about the tree. We always go there the day after Thanksgiving,” said DiNuovo.
DiNuovo ended up with a blue spruce because that’s what his wife, Lorraine, loves.
“We will decorate tomorrow,” said DiNuovo.