Heli logging helps harvest Christmas Trees in Time for Weekend Shopping
One of the most prolific producers of Christmas trees in the United States is Oregon. The state harvests at least 4 million Christmas trees each year to be shipped out to retail stores in time for the holidays.
The use of heli logging in the harvesting of Christmas Trees isn’t new. We’ve seen heli logging utilized in the harvesting of these trees from off of private farms for years now. Retailer’s place orders and heli logging helicopters are used because they can convey at least 800 pounds per trip. Following the capture of the nearly thousand pound load, they shake loose all the dead nettles and then the trees are bundled and sorted by size and color then tagged and placed in piles to be transported to stores generally right before Thanksgiving.
“That’s how we know when an order comes in from a retail customer, they’ll want so many of this color so many of that color that’s how we can tell which is which,” says tree farm owner, Kirk Stroda.
According to Stroda, the process of harvesting the trees would be infinitely more difficult if it weren’t for the helicopters involvement. He indicated the aircraft makes the process run much faster and simpler it would be for a ground crew to harvest 20,000 or more trees.
Mr. Stroda further noted that as a result of the heli logging he is able to get the job done with half the manpower and at this point, he would not even be able to assemble a ground crew sufficient enough. Partly because of the conditions outdoors, “Who wants to come out and stand all day long in this? Hands cold, everything is soaking wet.” he said.
Mr. Stroda said to get all the trees out in the timeframe in which the retailers want them they will have to run their crew all week with the heli logging helicopter. According to Stroda,”They want their trees by Thanksgiving weekend but we do have other customers that take multiple loads so they’ll take one before Thanksgiving then one the next weekend and the next weekend following that.”
The first round of trees is expected to ship Friday.