Welcome to The Christmas Tree Forum

Easy to Use

Learn about industry topics from the comfort of home on our simple and user friendly platform. It's easy to learn and participate.

Great Value

Quality lessons, webinars, and information that you'll use for years to come. Engage with other industry members and learn- all in one place.

Set Your Pace

You will have lots of time to review, read, listen, and watch the content. Whenever and wherever you log in, it will be available for you right where you left off.

Spring 2021 Grading Course Available Now

Certification in Christmas Tree Grading with Jay Woodworth

Interested in earning a Certification in Christmas Tree Grading?
This course is designed to provide an overview of the United States Christmas Tree Grading System, encouraging a standardized grade across Christmas Tree Farms.

This course is included in The Christmas Tree Forum memberships, or can be registered for on its own.

Meet Our Speakers

Meet some of our featured speakers –  experts and industry leaders who will provide you with presentations that you can enjoy from the comfort of home.

Click on a speaker to see their topic & background 

Dr. Jill Sidebottom

Integrated Pest Management Fundementals to Solve Tomorrow’s Problems

Treasa Pauly

Responding to Covid-19: Protocols for Everyone’s Safety

Jay Woodworth

Focus on Pesticide Application, Sprayer Calibration and Labelling

&

Maximizing Soil Benefits for Balsam Fir Production

Dr. Scott White

Biology and Management of Creeping Herbaceous Perennial Weeds

Dale Thibodeau

Negotiation Skills & Supply Chain, Logistics and Transportation

Stuart MacLean

Introducing: Health and Safety

Dr. Kevin Keys

Forest Soil Acidity and Potential Use of Liming Amendments

Marsha Gray

Update from the Christmas Tree Promotion Board

Tamara MacKinnon

Ergonomics for Tree Growers

Dr. David Burton

Maximizing Soil Benefits for Balsam Fir Production

Deborah Irvine Anderson

5 Tips for Engaging with Local Media &
How to Handle Negative Stories

Lienna Hoeg

Biology and Management of Creeping Herbaceous Perennial Weeds

John Murray

“Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan”

Susan McIsaac

Succession Planning: The Accounting, Legal and Personal Experience

Dugald Kell

The Benefits of Being a NCTA Member: A Conversation with Tim O’Connor

Tim O’Connor

The Benefits of Being a NCTA Member: A Conversation with Dugald Kell

About Our Topics

Taking Care of Business

Including sessions on business planning, negotiation skills, working with the media, logistics, shipping and more.

Integrated Pest Management

Including keynote address from Dr. Jill Sidebottom, as well as weed management, calibration, and labelling topics.

Fertility

Including sessions on improving soil health, nutrient sampling, and fertilizer selection to maximize growth and productivity of Christmas Tree lots.

Health & Safety

Including sessions on workplace safety, ergonomics, work/life balance with a Bonus Feature - Responding to COVID-19 Protocols for Everyone's Safety

Succession Planning

An accountant, lawyer, and researcher discuss the many considerations for successful transition of a family business from one generation to the next.

& More

Including a message from the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, an update from The Christmas Tree Promotion Board and a conversation with the National Christmas Tree Association.

Watch On-Demand,
Any Time, Any Place

Annual All-Access Pass

SAVE OVER 10%
$ 150
00
Price is in Canadian Dollars
  • Over 15 Video & Content Sessions
  • Sessions with North American Industry Leaders
  • Discover Other Industry Members and Providers
  • Set Your Own Pace- Access Lasts until 2021
  • Access to the Certification in Christmas Tree Grading Course

Monthly All-Access Pass

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL INCLUDED
$ 14
99/month
Price is in Canadian Dollars
  • Over 15 Video & Content Sessions
  • Sessions with North American Industry Leaders
  • Discover Industry Members and Providers
  • No Commitment- Cancel Anytime
  • Access to the Certification in Christmas Tree Grading Course

Grading Course

Starts April 1st, 2021
$ 40 Price is in Canadian Dollars
  • Earn a certificate personally addressed to you
  • Learn about the US Grading System
  • Join forums and share with other growers

Special Thanks To Our Generous Sponsors

Dr. Jill Sidebottom

Integrated Pest Management Fundamentals To Solve Tomorrow’s Problems

About Dr. Sidebottom

Jill is originally from the Midwest and received her undergraduate degree in horticulture from the University of Illinois followed by an MS and PhD in plant pathology from NC State University. 
As an extension specialist with NC Cooperative Extension, she has developed and promoted integrated pest management techniques for the control of Christmas tree pests in western North Carolina for more than 31 years.

Treasa Pauly, M.Sc., P.Ag.​

Responding to Covid-19: Protocols for Everyone’s Safety

About Treasa

Treasa has been a professional within the Canadian AgriFood industry for over two decades but has grown up around agriculture her whole life. She achieved her formal training from Dalhousie University, acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Science in Plant Physiology.
She is the President/CEO of Field to Fork AgriSystems Consulting.

Jay Woodworth

Calibration & Labeling

About Jay

Jay was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada and has stayed in the area to support local Christmas tree growers as the Christmas Tree Technical Specialist at Perennia Food & Agriculture. Jay specializes in environmental management, with a soil science background, which translates into a comprehensive approach to lot management. She has an undergraduate honors degree (University Metal) in Integrated Environmental Management and a Master’s degree in Soil Science from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture.

Dr. Scott White

Weed Management

About Dr. White

Scott is a faculty member at Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture and holds the position of Assistant Professor in Weed Science. His current research program focuses on basic and applied aspects of weed science, with the ultimate goal of utilizing basic aspects of plant biology and ecology to improve weed management.
Dr. White regularly contributes to grower meetings, field days, and twilight meetings for the agricultural industry in Atlantic Canada, and has been conducting research on weed management for over 15 years.

Dale Thibodeau

Negotiation Skills 
Supply Chain, Logistics and Transportation

About Dale

Dale Thibodeau founded DJ Thibodeau & Associates Inc. in 2006, after a successful career with major companies such as JD Irving Ltd., McCains and Purolator Courier. DJ Thibodeau and Associates Inc. helps manufacturers and distributors apply Lean methodologies to their supply chains where we focus on warehousing, inventory, and transportation costs.

Stuart MacLean

Introduction from the Worker’s Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, Canada

About Stuart

Throughout his career, Stuart has come to know first-hand the impact of workplace injuries and fatalities on workers and their families. He is a true safety champion with an unwavering passion for preventing workplace injury, and helping to manage its impact when it does occur. Under his leadership, time-loss injury has declined. Today, 30 per cent fewer Nova Scotians are hurt at work than a decade ago.

Dr. Kevin Keys

Forest Soil Acidity and Potential Use of Liming Amendments

About Dr. Keys

Kevin is a professional forester (RPF) and soil scientist (PAg) with a BSc Forestry from UBC, MSc Forestry from UNB, and PhD Biology from Dalhousie. He currently leads the Site Productivity and Tree Improvement Group within the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry and collaborates extensively with academic, industry, and government partners on projects related to forest soil assessment and mapping, site productivity, and forest nutrition management.

Marsha Gray

Update from the Christmas Tree Promotion Board

About Marsha

Marsha Gray was selected as the Executive Director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board in September of 2018 and has been a part of the management team for the CTPB since its inception in 2015.  The CTPB is a Research and Promotion program authorized by USDA and funds Christmas tree research and promotion.  At the CTPB, Marsha works with the board of Christmas tree producers to oversee the annual promotional campaign, research initiatives, assessment collections and managing day to day board operations.

Tamara MacKinnon, RN, Associate Ergonomist

Ergonomist

About Tamara

Tamara MacKinnon was born and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and practices as both a Registered Nurse and Ergonomist. She works with the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia preventing workplace injuries. Tamara is able to apply ergonomic principles and design to enhance safety management systems and reduce musculoskeletal injuries among organizations. Passionate about health and wellness she influences others to take a leadership stance to improve occupational environments. Tamara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Kinesiology and Nursing and two diplomas in Occupational Health & Safety and Ergonomic Program Management from Dalhousie University.

Dr. David Burton

Maximizing Soil Benefits for Balsam Fir Production

About Dr. Burton

David’s research examines the role of the soil environment in influencing the nature and extent of microbial metabolism in soil. His current research programs involve an examination of the production and consumption of greenhouse gases in natural and agricultural landscapes, sustainable manure management practices, bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil and the assessment of the quality of the soil biological environment and its influence on overall soil quality. It is the aim of this work to better understand the factors that control microbial metabolism and to use this information to developing sustainable land management systems.

Deborah Irvine Anderson

5 Tips for Engaging with Local Media
How to Handle Negative Stories

About Deborah

Deborah Irvine Anderson loves helping people share their stories. For more than 20 years, she worked both behind the scenes and on-air at CBC Radio from BC to PEI. In 2016, she launched Canteen Media & Communications where she has worked with a diverse clientele, from cannabis to coaching and aquaculture to education. Deborah is also a passionate adult educator, teaching communications in the School of Business, Hospitality and Tourism at the New Brunswick Community College in Saint John, NB.

Lienna Hoeg

Weed Management

About Lienna

Lienna Hoeg is from Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia and received her Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick in 2019. Currently she is working on her MS in plant science at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, and started as the Research Assistant for the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia in April. Lienna’s masters project is focused on the development of phenological models and management strategies for narrowleaf goldenrod in wild blueberry fields.

John Murray

Business & Strategic Planning

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

About John

John has worked in a variety of roles in the private and public sector in the areas of agricultural inspection, marketing, economics, crop and apiary management, lending and programs. He has spoken to various groups in the area of business planning and finance. He currently works closely with clients exploring various financing options. He holds a Diploma in Farming Technology , B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics & Business and a CRA appraisal designation.

Susan McIsaac

Succession Planning: The Accounting Perspective

About Susan

Susan McIsaac, FCPA, FCA provides leadership, strategic oversight, and independent advice to small and medium sized private entities and non-profit organizations as trusted advisor and as a volunteer. The founder of a local chartered professional accounting firm, Susan takes a personal interest in her clients and working with them clarify their objectives and set a deliberate course to meet them. Solid technical skills are enhanced by the ability to communicate meaningfully to clients and stakeholders. Experience has the shown her leadership fundamentals of vision, accountability and communication span all types of organizations. Susan has spoken to many groups on estate planning and succession issues, and has particular experience with the agricultural and woodlot sectors.

Dugald Kell Jr.

National Bodies and their Benefits to the Industry: A Conversation with Tim O’Connor

About Dugald

Dugald Kell Jr. has worked since birth in the family business, Kelco Industries, that his father, Dugald (Doug) Kell, started in 1955. Dugald Jr. has a BS in ChemE (’82) and an MBA (’89), both from the University of Maine. His tenure as an adult at Kelco Industries started in 1984. Dugald joined the Board of the NCTA in 2006, as the Director from Maine. He served for several years on the NCTA Executive Committee, and in January 2020, began a 2-year term as President of the organization.

Tim O'Connor

National Bodies & Their Benefits To The Industry: A Conversation with Dugald Kell

About Tim

Tim is the Executive Director of the National Christmas Tree Association. His career spans 25 years of innovative leadership as the CEO of industry trade associations and marketing organizations including beef, potatoes, avocados and Christmas trees along with numerous consulting engagements. Tim received a B.S. in agriculture from Western Illinois University; an MBA from the University of Illinois; and has completed the Harvard Graduate School of Business Competition and Strategy program.

Exciting News! We've got a new name. The Christmas Tree Forum

All the amazing content from The Balsam Fir Forum is still here, just in a new home.
We’ve got new videos coming soon for all kinds of Christmas Tree Growers.

If you’d like to subscribe, use code CTCNS25 for $25 Off!