I stopped in to see Tom Peaslee for our annual Christmas tree shopping adventure. In my 20-minute visit, I learned an unbelievable amount of extraordinary information chatting with Tom.
The Peaslee family has been in the Christmas tree business for 100 years or more. I don't recall exactly. Tom told me about his family's 1,500-acre farm up in Jefferson where his father, one of 15 children, thank you very much, provided trees for thousands. He recalled trainloads of trees being shipped to New York City, when he helped out as a child. In later years, he and his father took truck loads of trees to Boston.
Tom worked at the local YMCA for years as the facilities manager. Before that he worked at Bath Iron Works. He also spent much time on local flats worming with his father who moved off the farm to start a business on Route 27 near what is now Eric Wood's construction headquarters. The business expanded to clams and lobster, all the while remaining active in Christmas tree sales.
Tom told me the coolest thing he learned from his father while working in the woods. His dad showed him how to cut a tree for Christmas leaving a lower portion of the tree, up so high from the ground (Tom gestured with his hand to a place about knee high) saving a branch that would seek the sun. The next year, upon return to the old cuts, they would find new growth (at the stump) which, after normal six to seven years of growth, would become another harvestable tree, replenishing their crop. Amazing! I had no idea!
Tom has a local property care business now. His sisters, all successful local women, must have stories, too, but I've not visited them yet. Heads up ladies. Tom's son, Tom Jr., now works at Hannaford and sometimes helps out with trees.
Never know what you might find when not looking! Glad I stopped.