Summer 2024

Does it feel too early to think about Christmas? Not for TLF! Tending to the farm is a year-round task. Spring and summer are busy times on the farm, as Nature wakes up from her long winter’s nap. The beehives start buzzing again as the bees begin making test flights and collecting nectar and pollen from around the farm. And we start buzzing as well, heeling in trees, setting up irrigation, and making sure we are ready for the summer.

The crew has planted over 150 trees this spring. This year we’ve planted Nordmann and the ever-popular Concolor firs.

Fir trees are favorites at TLF – soft needles and that beautiful evergreen scent make these varieties favorites for Christmas trees. We’re especially excited to be planting Nordmann firs. These are a variety that is originally from the Black Sea region, and they have a reputation for great needle retention.

When we plant seedlings, they are already several years old. Each seedling starts out in a small pot and spends at least two years growing before we transplant them. A big part of making sure they will grow successfully after transplanting is a steady supply of water, so we make sure we have irrigation ready to go for the season. In our hot summers, hydration is essential for humans and trees alike!

Beneath a sky partly overcast with fluffy white clouds, a row of pipes stretches across the image away from the viewer through a dirt field of newly-planted, foot-high Christmas trees.  Sprinklers spaced on the pipe are sending water spraying in high arcs over the trees.
Irrigation suppling water to newly planted trees.

Another important job all spring and summer is mowing. If mowing your lawn is among your least favorite chores, imagine having to mow between all of these little trees! Luckily, Bruce has years of expertise in mowing efficiency, and you’ll see him out throughout the summer.

A man operates a red riding mower on a green grassy field in between rows of young Christmas trees that are each only a foot high.  He works beneath a blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds.
Bruce operating the mower on a spring afternoon.

While the bees continue their flights around the farm, we’ll be out there keeping them company all summer. We hope everyone has a great summer and that the weather stays beautiful for everyone!

Closed for 2023

After another busy season – and some challenging rain from Mother Nature! – we are now closed for 2023. We are grateful to our community and our customers for your continued support, and we look forward to welcoming you all back again next year.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Spring on the Farm

Now that the last of the cold weather is well behind us, the farm is once again abuzz with activity as everyone gets to work – including our bees!

Our beehives have weathered the winter season and the bees have been out collecting pollen and beginning this year’s batch of honey. While they’re at work, they’re also helping us by pollinating gardens – including the strawberries we grow at the farm!

Bruce has also been very busy this month. All of the fields have been prepared for planting and Bruce has heeled in two hundred transplants. These baby trees will still need years to grow to the proper height and size, so the trees we plant this year will grow until Christmas 2029.

A freshly plowed field in the sun.  A field of young trees is visible in the background.
Bruce stands before a row of young trees being heeled in.  He is holding a water hose in both hands and is watering the tree roots.

Branch Manager Meghan stopped by to supervise and give her thoughts on this newest crop of trees. Her assistance was invaluable and she kept Bruce on schedule!

This winter, we were pleased to learn Tilden Lane Farm has been selected by as one of 2022’s Best Christmas Tree Farms in the New York City region! Their selection criteria included 25 categories, including availability, credentials, reputation, services, and professionalism. We deeply appreciate this recognition!

Q&A: Development Rights

As you may have seen in the news recently, Tilden Lane Farm welcomed some visitors to the Farm. Bruce and Jeanne were pleased to join officials from the Town of Huntington and Suffolk County for a press conference to announce the sale of the development rights for Tilden Lane Farm.

A Banner reading "Town of Huntington Suffolk County and Tilden Lane Farm Partner to Preserve Farm Land". To the left is a photograph of TLF's sign.

We’ve heard quite a few questions about what this all means and how it affects the future of the farm, and we hope to answer those questions for you now!

  1. What does it mean to sell development rights?
    Selling development rights restricts the future use of a property, so that the land can only be used for agricultural purposes. The Farmland Development Rights program for Suffolk County is the first such program of its kind in the United States, and its goal is to help preserve farmland and ensure that these vital and historical properties are able to maintain themselves and their historical agricultural character.
  2. Who purchased the development rights for TLF?
    The Town of Huntington and Suffolk County came together in a 50/50 partnership. With this purchase, Tilden Lane Farm becomes part of nearly 20,000 acres of preserved open farmland throughout Suffolk County, 300 acres of which are located within the Town of Huntington.
  3. Does this mean the farm is public property?
    The farm is not public property. The farm continues to be owned and run by the Tilden family. We are a working farm and are constantly planting and tending to our crops as well as caring for our beehives; all of this work means that the farm is only open to the public during Christmas tree season.
  4. What does the development rights sale mean for TLF?
    This sale means TLF will be able to continue farming as the family has done for generations, and allows us to keep planting trees, instead of planting houses. The sale of the development rights is our promise to the community that Tilden Lane Farm will continue to be a farm.

Farming in Huntington

We are very pleased to be a part of the Town Clerk’s “Farming In Huntington” exhibit at Huntington Town Hall to celebrate the history of farming as part of Archives Month 2020. Tilden Lane Farm is one of 19 Huntington farms that have contributed artifacts, photographs, and antiques to the exhibit. Viewing is by appointment. Information on visiting the exhibit can be found in this release.

Bruce was invited to attend the official opening of the exhibit and received a certificate from Town Clerk Andrew Raia recognizing TLF’s contribution to the Farming In Huntington exhibit and to the community. We’re so pleased and honored to participate in this exhibit!

Over Memorial Day Weekend we transplanted several hundred baby trees to prepare for future seasons!  Right now these baby trees are only as tall as Logan but in four or five years they will be just right for Christmas trees.

l-r: Rebecca, Abigail, Logan, Andrew, Bruce and Mike, tired but happy after a long weekend planting 100+ new trees. (Lucy the Puppy helped too!)

l-r: Rebecca, Abigail, Logan, Andrew, Bruce and Mike, tired but happy after a long weekend planting 100+ new trees. (Lucy the Puppy helped too!)

Herbert S. Tilden

As many of our friends and neighbors have heard, in early November Herbert S. Tilden died at the age of 92 at his home on the farm, surrounded by his family.   We look forward to honoring his memory this season. In addition to his lifelong work as a farmer, with his  wife of 50 years, Mable Flathmann Tilden, at his side, he raised five sons- the late Jeffrey (Ann), Bruce (Jeanne), Lee (Diane), Donald (Cyndy), and John (Christine). He was the  proud grandfather of Abigail, Rebecca (Mike), Andrew, Emily (Jon), Daniel,and David, and great-grandfather of Logan.


Following in his own father’s footsteps, Herb was a 68 year member of the Greenlawn Volunteer Fire Department.  He also served four terms as a Commissioner of the Greenlawn Fire District.  Herb was instrumental in the founding of the ambulance service of the GFD Rescue Squad in 1961.  He is shown below (far left) with fellow Squad members receiving an award in 1964 for a rescue where a car accident victim with a broken neck was safely extricated and transported without further injury or paralysis.

His sons Bruce and Lee, and Lee’s wife Diane, are proud to carry on the family tradition of GFD service for the third generation.



Like dandelion seeds in the wind, our memories of a life well lived will always surround us.