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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas tree discussion at Coffee time...

We had another interesting and informative coffee break. Today we learned about Christmas Trees.
Christmas tree harvest is really going in earnest. It actually started in October with some shipments to the Philippines. Trees from Oregon go all over the world. The trees are harvested by helicopter. The workers (90% Mexican) cut the trees in the field and place stack them on two ropes. The ropes have a loop braided in one end and a hook on the other. They stack ten trees or so on these ropes then form it into a bundle. The helicopter drops a hook and picks up the bundle. The ferries it to the waiting truck. (They say that the static charge from the rotor blades can be quite painful. The pilot often drops the hook to the ground to discharge the static)
The trucks have special high sides to haul a lot of trees. The loads are then dumped at a central staging area where they shaken to remove any bugs, then baled (wrapped with string) and packed, either into another truck or into a container for export.
There are some variations. Sometimes the trees are shaken right in the field. A helicopter is usually used to move the trees out of the field. They are pretty fast. It is cool to watch.
Local farmers often haul trees with their big trucks to make some money in the off season. There is not a lot of demand for 30 year old trucks however, this pretty much leaves me out.

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