December is here, and with it comes the annual tradition of trimming the tree. But for those who don't pull their Christmas centerpiece out of a box in the attic, Hidden Pond Tree Farm in Mendham makes it easy to bring a real tree home for the holidays.
"Christmas trees are just like people, some tall, some skinny, some wide, etc," said owner Chris Nicholson. "Everyone that cuts a tree believes that they just cut the best tree on the farm."
Nicholson was a contractor by trade, and opened the farm back in 2000 with an initial planting of 5,000 trees on his 50 acre farm.
"My love of growing trees is what got me into this business," Nicholson said. "Our customers are locals, as well as from other destinations. On a busy Saturday I can look out at the parking lot filled with license plates from all over the tri-state area."
Nicholson credits his farm's success to the family feel. That sense of family extended out into the Mendham community as Hidden Pond offered a "trunk or treat" for powerless residents after Hurricane Sandy blew through town.
"Our farm is a family farm, on any given weekend my wife Heidi greets our guests, my mother Rose Marie serves her famous hot chocolate, and my father Bruce is working the checkout aisle," Nicholson said. "Our signature product is freshly made Boxwood wreathes, made on our farm daily from our own plantation of Boxwood."
According to Nicholson, the farm is tucked away off of the main road, and the first thing visitors see is the "hidden pond" when they pull in the driveway. Those who have discovered the farm are greeted by trees up to 12' tall and are in for an authentic holiday experience.
"Those that choose to visit us each year for a tree get a lot more than a tree, they get a real tree farm experience. Free hay rides on weekends, free hot chocolate with real whipped cream, free marshmallow roasting by our open fires," Nicholson said. "Buying a tree from our farm offers a family experience that will last a lifetime."
Nicholson said that the tree selection experience is customizable to be as hands on or hands off as their patrons desire.
"The customers can take a hay ride out or walk, they can cut their own or we will cut it for them. We bundle the tree for safe transport and will even help tie it on their car," Nicholson said.
Being a part of the Christmas spirit has prompted Nicholson to give back to the community. Every season Hidden Pond Tree Farm donstes over 500 trees to local charities.
"Every tree I give away goes into a home that probably wouldn't have had a tree, and that warms my heart," Nicholson said. "Giving back helps me to feel like I am part of the community, and helps to keep me grounded during the holiday season. Isn't this what Christmas is all about?"
Hidden Pond Tree Farm is located at 4 West Field Road in Mendham and is closed Mondays, but open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the week.