THINK Christmas trees in Colchester and it probably won’t take you long to get to the Smith family.

For more than half a century, the family business has been supplying festive pines to thousands of homes across the district from its six-acre farm in Boxted.

They also donate trees to the town council, Colchester General Hospital and a number of charities, including St Helena Hospice, each year.

Fred Smith started the business in 1961 and it is now run by his son Tim with the help of his wife Beverley and their children George and Penny.

Tim explains the family started out as market farmers, growing and selling potatoes, cabbages and carrots from their farm.

But a chance offer led to a whole new venture.


                    Fred and Maureen Smith and their children Tim and Kay outside Butlins Clacton                                            with one of their trees in 1976

“A neighbour of ours offered my dad a few pine trees and he planted them and they took really well and it went from there.

“Soon it became the main part of the business,” says Tim.


                                      Penny Smith in 1998

Over the years, Tim admits one of the things he and his family have loved to do is enjoy the quiet times between Christmas and NewYear to drive around and see the trees they have donated or sold once they have all been decorated.

“We really like to do that. Some of them just look spectacular, they really do,” he says.


                                Tim Smith and wife Beverley and son George in 2004


                                               Tim Smith in 2010