Behind the scenes at Joseph Noblett Christmas trees in Chorley

Christmas trees will look smaller in the field than when you get them home so be sure to measure them carefully

Trees will look smaller in the field than when you get them home so be sure to measure them carefully - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Former milkman Joe Noblett has really branched out in recent years – and his business keeps on growing. He now grows thousands of Christmas trees on land at Charnock Richard, many of which are taken away to be sold at supermarkets and garden centres, while others will be on show in town centres across Lancashire, and further afield. 

And this month he will open up his fields to the growing numbers of families for whom selecting a growing tree and seeing it cut down has become a tradition. 

‘More and people want to choose their tree that way now and the Christmas tree industry has really grown in the last few years,’ Joe said.  

‘We switch from wholesale to retail in mid-November and we’ve made improvements to that side of the business this year to make it more of an experience. We’re not a garden centre and we don’t wish to be. 

‘People can walk through the fields and the forest, re-connect with nature and select their tree. This is a real forest, with tree stumps and rabbit holes and people need to take care, but we are planning to create a safe zone for children surrounded by 30-year-old trees which we hope will add to the magic of the occasion.’ 

Joseph Noblett has been selling trees for more than 30 years

Joseph Noblett has been selling trees for more than 30 years - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

Joe has been supplying Christmas trees for more than 30 years since his milk round in Chorley diversified, and his business also manufactures stands for Christmas trees. He now grows Nordmann Fir, Norway Spruce, Fraser Fir and Lodge Pole Pine trees and deliveries them all over the country. 

‘My family have farmed in this area for generations and that background made it easy for me to connect with farmers. From there I started selling a few trees and that has grown to what we have today. 

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‘The Christmas tree business has three parts to it: we’re developing it as a family day out, there’s the commercial wholesale side, and we manufacture Christmas tree stands – our biggest market for them is the US and Canada, we sell between 500,000 and 700,000 a year.’ 

But although Joe has deep roots in the Christmas tree industry, he won’t be selecting the tree for his own home – that task will fall to his nine-year-old daughter, Grace. ‘I won’t get involved in decorating it, either,’ he said. ‘I'll be too busy getting trees for other people.’  josephnoblett.com 

Gillian Rimmer and Olivia Marsden-Thomas watch while their tree is cut down at Noblett's

Gillian Rimmer and Olivia Marsden-Thomas watch while their tree is cut down at Noblett's - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

What to look for when you’re buying a real tree 

  • A fresh tree should have flexible needles which don’t fall off easily - bang it lightly on its stump to test 

  • Healthier trees are heavier because they contain more moisture. Test a few before you decide 

  • Be sure to measure the space before you choose a tree and measure the tree before you buy – trees always look bigger once you get them home 

  • When you get the tree home, cut the bottom inch or two off the stump and stand it in water for at least 24 hours, then water it regularly during the holidays 

  • Look for flexible needles that don't fall off when you shake the tree

    Look for flexible needles that don't fall off when you shake the tree - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto