11/24/17 6:16am
Southold Historical Society tree lighting

A tree is decorated at the Southold Historical Society in 2016. (Credit: Madison Fender)

Does it make sense to drive to a rural area, cut down a seven-foot tree and put it in your living room for several weeks? No, it does not. But Christmas was never about being sensible. Even for people who think nothing of apple- or strawberry-picking, the experience of going out in a field to bring back a freshly cut tree is a peculiar delight.

And speaking of rational acts, who in their right mind would tie up acres of valuable Long Island real estate growing a crop that requires fertilization, pest control, pruning and eight to 10 years of growing before it can be harvested?

On the North Fork of Long Island, there are still a handful of farms, all family-owned, where generations of tree buyers and tree growers have participated in this illogical, magical Christmas tradition and made it an annual part of their holiday. (more…)