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Master Gardeners Muscle up for Westfield Y’S Men's 60th Annual Christmas Tree Sale

T.J. Karns

Thursday, December 12, 2013 • 2:09pm

The large lot on the corner of Elm and Walnut Streets in Westfield was once again a busy thoroughfare on Sunday morning, December 8, as 21 Master Gardeners helped unload a delivery of Frasier Fir trees for the Westfield Y’s Men’s Club.  The trees were being delivered for the Y’s Men’s 60th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE AND WREATH SALE, which runs through Monday, December 23rd.  The 21 men and women arrived at 8am, checked in with Y’s Man Bill Rugg, then got right down to work.  Before 10am, they, with volunteer Y’s Men, had carried 485 trees into the sale lot.  Master Gardener Richard Leister was on hand to take photos.  The event was organized for the seventh year by MG T.J. Karns.

Ms. Karns, who chairs both the Grants and Publicity Committees for the Master Gardeners of Union County, started this annual tree unloading event in 2007 as a way to give back to the Y’s Men for generous grants.  She advises that "both our Master Gardeners and the Y’s Men are volunteer groups whose mission is community service.  Since their start-up in 1953, the Y’s Men have given more than $2M to local youth groups and community service groups, including the Master Gardeners.  Likewise,” says Karns, “we Master Gardeners raise food to feed the hungry in Union County.  Since 2002, we have cultivated and donated 21,360 lbs. of vegetables, fruit and herbs to local soup kitchens and food pantries. 

Hours for the Y’s Men’s 60th ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE AND WREATH SALE are:  Monday-Friday, 5 to-9pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 9am to 6pm, through-December 23rd.  

In addition to the Fraser Firs, this year’s sale features Douglas Firs and Balsams.  All trees are available in various heights and densities; in addition to wreaths, roping and user friendly tree stands for one-stop shopping.

All trees are given a fresh cut to take water.  Branches are trimmed at customer request, prior to drilling a hole in the trunk for the tree stand.  The tree is then baled and loaded on the customer’s vehicle.  “It’s a lot of heavy work,” says Y’s Man Rugg, “so we appreciate volunteers from high schools and local groups like the Master Gardeners."

To become a member or for more information on the Westfield Y’s Men’s Club Association, contact Y’s Man Brian Duggan at (908) 232-6930 or dugganb@ymail.com.

The Master Gardeners of Union County are headquartered in Westfield at 300 North Avenue East.  They cultivate Demonstration Gardens on a two-acre site at Trailside, near the Union County Science Center, in the Watchung Reservation (Mountainside).  To become a Master Gardener, contact Judi LaGanga, Rutgers Cooperative Extension at (908) 654-9854, or visit  mastergardeners-uc.org/ on the Web.

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