Non-drop shop: Christmas tree farmer prepares for seasonal rush

COLCHESTER, England (Reuters) - With Christmas around the corner, Wick Farm in Colchester, eastern England, is gearing up by harvesting its crop of fir trees.

Farmer Guy French said selling directly to customers is one of the best parts of the festive season.

"You can't remember what you had last Christmas, but you always remember getting your Christmas tree," he told Reuters.

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Go inside an Oregon Christmas tree farm
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A helicopter drops a bundle of freshly harvested Christmas trees into a truck at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A worker at Holiday Tree Farms throws a freshly harvested Christmas tree onto a pile of trees that are ready to be shipped at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A truck drops a load of freshly harvested Christmas trees at the Holiday Tree Farms Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers use chainsaws to cut down Douglas Fir Christmas trees at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers at Holiday Tree Farms tags freshly harvested Christmas trees at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A worker at Holiday Tree Farms throws a freshly harvested Christmas tree onto a pile of trees that are ready to be shipped at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Tags hang from freshly harvested Christmas trees at Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CAPE ELIZABETH, ME - NOVEMBER 24: Elaine DiGiovanni eyes the selection of cut-your-own trees at the Old Farm Christmas Place of Maine in Cape Elizabeth on Friday, while her family, right, congregates around a contender. Hundreds turned out at thr farm to cut trees, order wreaths, take wagon rides and more on the day after Thanksgiving, which is a yearly tradition for many. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A worker at Holiday Tree Farms throws a freshly harvested Christmas tree onto a pile of trees that are ready to be shipped at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A helicopter pulls a bundle of freshly harvested Christmas trees from a field at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers bundles up freshly harvested Douglas Fir Christmas trees that will be lifted by helicopter from a field at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers at Holiday Tree Farms load freshly harvested Christmas trees onto a truck at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A worker at Holiday Tree Farms throws a freshly harvested Christmas tree onto a pile of trees that are ready to be shipped at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers use chainsaws to cut down Douglas Fir Christmas trees at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers preapres to bundle up freshly harvested Douglas Fir Christmas trees that will be lifted by helicopter from a field at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers bundles up freshly harvested Douglas Fir Christmas trees that will be lifted by helicopter from a field at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers at Holiday Tree Farms sort freshly harvested Christmas trees at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers at Holiday Tree Farms tags freshly harvested Christmas trees at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers at Holiday Tree Farms tie up freshly harvested Christmas tree onto a pile of trees that are prepared to be shipped at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Tags hang from freshly harvested Christmas trees at Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers at Holiday Tree Farms sort freshly harvested Christmas trees at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers bundles up freshly harvested Douglas Fir Christmas trees that will be lifted by helicopter from a field at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MONROE, OR - NOVEMBER 18: A workers bundles up freshly harvested Douglas Fir Christmas trees that will be lifted by helicopter from a field at the Holiday Tree Farms on November 18, 2017 in Monroe, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers at Holiday Tree Farms load freshly harvested Christmas trees onto a truck at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHILOMATH, OR - NOVEMBER 18: Workers at Holiday Tree Farms load freshly harvested Christmas trees onto a truck at the Beaver Creek shipping yard on November 18, 2017 in Philomath, Oregon. The Christmas tree harvest is underway at Holiday Tree Farms, the biggest grower of holiday trees in the United States, as workers harvest and ship an estimated one million trees ahead of the Christmas holiday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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"So we always make it the experience to get the Christmas tree direct from us, the farmer."

The British Christmas Tree Growers Association says around seven million trees are bought each year in Britain.

French said this year's crop of Nordmann Firs, which cater for 95 percent of Wick Farm's market base, is made up of seven-year-old trees.

They are popular because their soft-needles are "non-drop", though French said that unlike the more traditional Norway Spruce, they lack the classic "Christmassy" smell.

(Reporting by Gerhard Mey, writing by Helena Williams and Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison)

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