Archive for December 20th, 2007

Last of the Sudol Christmas trees

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Wagon to Sudol treesLast Saturday I took Jennifer and Fiona, and our boarder Michel, up to the Paddockwood area to get a Christmas tree. Not just any tree, but one of Frank Sudol’s trees.

I first met Frank back in 1988, shortly after I had moved from Edmonton to start a new job with the Canadian Forest Selecting a treeService. He would come into the office to visit with Jim, our Agroforestry guy. Their work-related talk was about private woodlot management, growing Christmas trees, etc., but it didn’t take long to realize that Frank was about a whole lot more than growing trees. Besides being a master wood turner and carver, he built unique custom furniture, had built his own log house, and seemed to have a working knowledge about pretty well any subject you could bring up. Not to speak of his ability to make people laugh.

When we got our 2006 Christmas tree, Frank drove the tractor pulling our wagon into the field, wearing a Santa hat and cracking jokes. A week or so later, I heard that Frank had died suddenly.

This year I read in the local paper that some of his neighbours had volunteered to help his beloved partner Lois to host one final year of Christmas tree sales, so we made the pilgrimage. After the wagon-ride to the plantation (complete with Jingle Bells from Kietha and her kids), final consensus from the girls on which was the best

balsam fir, and the cutting of the tree, we tied the trophy to the roof racks and then trooped into the log house where Lois welcomed our wagon load with hot chocolate and cookies.

All that for only $30.

It’s the end of a tradition for a lot of people around the Prince Albert area. Click here for a nice tribute given at Frank Sudol’s memorial event.