Kavanagh Christmas Trees: 67 years on and still growing
As Christmas 2019 quickly approaches, Christy Kavanagh, owner of Kavanagh Christmas Trees, discusses the origins of the Christmas Tree producer.
10 October 2019
As the busiest part of the year for Christmas Tree growers rapidly approaches, Christy Kavanagh, owner of Kavanagh Christmas Trees looks back to the now third-generation operation’s beginnings.
“Tom and Pam Kavanagh started to grow Christmas Trees on the family farm in 1952 as Tommy worked for the Forest Service.”, said Kavanagh.
Kavanagh continued: “In those years, the only species grown was natural Norway Spruce. Tommy, my father, grew his trees from seed as the soil was particularly suitable because of its free draining nature – the trees do not like ‘wet feet’. Also, the radiant frost moves freely from the site.
“Over the years, species have slowly changed from Norway Spruce to Lodgepole Pine to Noble Fir, and over the last twenty years, additional species such as the Korean, Nordmann, Frasier, and Lasio Carpa Fir.
“Up until the mid-80’s we harvested the trees and drew them back to the yard with a horse and draw. Now, the trees are cut, netted, and palletised before returning to the yard.
“Today, the needle-retaining species are distributed nationwide and to London town where customers like a choice. Our best seller is Noble, Korean, and Lasio Carpa Fir – which are the best needle-retaining species – followed by Frasier and Nordmann Fir.
“We sell all species of Christmas Tree plants that are grown on our disease-free soil.”
Kavanagh Christmas Trees are situated in Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow, 900 feet above sea-level; perfectly situated to produce strong, needle-retaining Christmas Tree species.
Combining B2B and B2C
Kavanagh Christmas Trees combine both wholesale and retail sales avenues. Garden centres and other retailers can request pricelists from Kavanagh Christmas Trees but the individual consumer has several options for how they can purchase their Christmas tree.
Over the Halloween period Kavanagh Christmas Trees offer their customers a “Select” and “Collect” service for December 1. Kavanagh’s retail shop will open at Leopardstown Racecourse on Thursday, November 29, and will run until December 20; together with their farm shop which is open from Sunday, November 25, until Thursday, December 20.
If an individual customer is unable to visit one of Kavanagh’s retail outlets, they can order their Christmas tree online, together with the option to have their Christmas tree delivered, erected, and then collected and recycled after the Christmas celebrations are over.
Making these options available to individual customers has amounted to 8% of Kavanagh Christmas Trees’ business going direct to consumer.
“The conifer that we produce removes a lot of carbon from the atmosphere and releases oxygen, so consumers have a choice between ‘oil’ or ‘soil’, i.e. plastic (non-renewable resource) or real (beneficial to the environment).”, said Kavanagh.