The art of wreath tipping | News

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The art of wreath tipping

STILLWATER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Wreath making has been a rich tradition in Maine for years. However it's not the art of making the wreath that's always the hardest, but rather the ability to find the perfect wreath tips that can be the biggest challenge.

According to the Maine Forest Service, it's estimated that 2-3 million Christmas wreaths are made in Maine each year. That number is due to the large amount of Balsam Fir Trees that grow in the state and offer the perfect branches for wreath making. The harvesting of those fir branches is commonly referred to as "tipping", and best done during the months of November to December.

University of Maine Agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products Professional, David Fuller, has been tipping since he was a kid and says the most important thing is to never strip a limb of all its branches to sustain the life of the tree. "The most common thing is to take too much off of a tree," says Fuller of what most people do wrong when tipping. "If you don't leave some side branches that tree won't be there for you to pick anymore."

Fuller also says to always get a land owners permission before harvesting tips if you're on someone's property. He also recommends wearing bright orange because the tipping season coincides with Maine's deer hunting season. 

If you will be cutting or transporting tips for commercial purposes a written permit is required. To find out how to obtain one of those permits you can visit the Maine Forest Service website.