Dolan's Christmas Tree Farm
69 Kelseytown Road 
Clinton, Connecticut

Welcome to Dolan's Tree Farm

       It has been our tradition to host an opening season, open house Barn Party on the Sunday after Thanksgiving----this year, being on November 27th, 2011  11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  We provide the  hot chocolate, baked ham and breads for sandwiches, and our tree tag customers  contribute the choice hors'oeuves and desserts to fill a banquet table for all to enjoy. 

    The work of selecting a Christmas tree builds healthy appetites, but it's not a requirement to contribute to  chow down.  Newcomers are always welcome. 

    Trees may be tagged or cut down on Barn Party day, but if you plan to take a tree home, be prepared to listen to Hal's lecture on getting the stump into a bucket of water within two hours, or taking fresh cut before putting up, and never, never, ever, let the stump go dry. 


      We grow two kinds of trees---the short needle White Spruce and the softer needled Douglas Fir.  All trees, regardless of size, are one price--$40, the same as previous years.

    We have saws.  Customers are encouraged to cut their own trees.  It's not that we don't want to get down on our knees to our trees; the problem is getting back up.   (see story below for the date of our first sale to know why.)

               

    We use a professional tree shearer, Orrin Jones of Guilford,  for shaping the trees, but otherwise, Hal does all the work of planting replacements, spraying for weeds and upon occasion, disease, fertilizing, and mowing between the rows. 


 Our Christmas farm encompasses approximately two acres, which in the olden days of our circa 1800 Kelsey homestead was most likely a cornfield. 

         

To purchase a tree you do not have to wait for, or attend, the opening Barn Party.  Following the Barn Party, we are open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We will cut down (previously tagged) trees for pick-ups after dark by request.  

      Snow, sleet, rain and sunshine--we've had them all--- we look forward to sharing with you  again the joyous season of Christmas.

                                                                                 JoAnn and Hal

                                                                                              

Directions:  From Connecticut Turnpike:  Clinton exit 63 onto Route 81.

From Saybrook, turn right off connector onto Route 81, and at next light turn left onto Glenwood Road (across from commuter parking lot), proceed to third stop sign (next to firehouse), turn right and come straight for 1.2 miles to second tree farm sign on left, with old red Cape farmhouse and barn.   Parking is in front of the stone wall, or in the yard.   
 
 From Madison, take exit 63, left off the connector to light, turn left again to next light, and make immediate right onto Glenwood Road, and follow the instructions above.
   We are approximately 3 miles from the the Turnpike exit.   

 

    For further information, please call 860-669-5049. 

    We are members of the Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association. You will find our listing in the Pick-Your-Own-Christmas Trees, 2009 Guide with tips about caring for fresh Christmas trees.

 

JoAnn Dolan
Christmas 1981

Every Christmas tree has a grower,  as in,  say . . .  every child has a mother.
 
So when families are out this Christmas and trying to pick a tree and the grower happens to be around,  I would like to suggest that it would be in keeping with the holiday spirit for people to watch their language.
 
As they would if they met a mother with her child: smile naturally, pat the little darling and say, "Lovely", not "Looks a little scrawny in the middle."
 
It takes 10 years to grow a Christmas tree from a twig. In that length of time growers get attached to their little saplings, what with the fertilizing, liming, mowing between the rows and trimming under branches.
 
And, like children, some trees are easier to raise than others. Some just naturally grow straight and tall and perfectly shaped while others need a clip and some control on the feeding.
 
But perfect or imperfect, easy or difficult, a grower, like a mother, loves them all.
 
I know this because we grow Christmas trees.
 
Next year will begin to sell our Christmas trees.
 
We began growing trees 9 years ago because our family had received so much delight in going out to a tree farm and running through the rows in snow to find the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world.
 
We thought it would be fun if we could grow trees too and provide the same joyful experience for other families. That was before last Sunday, when we invited out best friends to come out and tag a tree.
 
I was really excited. I was happy that the first tree from our farm was going to spend Christmas in our friend's lovely home. I could picture Christmas Eve, with the Messiah blasting on the stereo, our little tree being lovingly decorated by Lynn, Vic and the children.
 
Proudly, I led them into the nursery, exclaiming, "Aren't they gorgeous!"
 
Lynn grabbed Jeff, cautioning, "Watch where you step."
 
"Some of them are still little babies and we do have to be careful, " I agreed.
 
"Over on the side rows and in back are the bigger ones," I said, adding "Some as tall as I am, five foot, seven."
 
The problems began to reveal themselves with the selecting.
 
Sara Louise said the tree Jeff liked was a yucky color.
 
Jeff said a tree Sara Louise liked was puny.
 
Vic said a tree Lynn wanted had half its branches and Lynn said a tree Vic favored was scraggly.
 
Well, it's one thing for a family not to agree on the same tree, but "yucky, puny, half its branches and scraggly, ....THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT MY TREES!
 
I had to leave.
 
A half hour later they came to the house, happy and smiling, proclaiming they had found the most beautiful Christmas tree in the world . . .over in the south corner, the last one at the very end of the row.
 
I knew immediately which tree they meant, bushy, full, completely symmetrical, a deep rich green with feathery needles and just reaching its prime: five foot seven.
 
I could have cried, the tree they picked is too perfect to be cut down.


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