Forests and Lakes – For People – Forever ®

Tipping with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust

December 1, 2014


Andrea Swift and Steve Shaefer

Despite a foot of snow and the threat of freezing rain, a group of intrepid supporters of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust sallied forth into the Farm Cove Community Forest to gather balsam fir tips on Sunday, November 30.

“They don’t crack as well as they do when it’s below zero.”noted DLLT Director Steve Schaefer who tipped to supplement his income as a young man.  This prompted stories of tipping and Christmas trees gathered from the Maine woods for the last half century.

“This is a great way to actively pass down the traditions that make living in Maine so special.” said a mother attending with her young daughter.

An hour wading through slushy knee high snow, and tumbling into drifted raspberry patches gave tippers a taste of the traditional pre-holiday employment.  However, an hour was enough, as mittens became sodden, and toes grew frigid.  While community tipping has become the traditional start of the holiday season in Grand Lake Stream, participants came away with a deepened appreciation of the cold and hard work that surrounds this seasonal occupation in the Maine woods.

Sue Whitely, embroiled in a snowball fight.

DLLT Education Committee Member, Sue Whitely, embroiled in a snowball fight.

DLLT Directors, Steve Shaeffer and Lee Whitely  stacking tips.

DLLT Directors, Steve Shaefer and Lee Whitely stacking tips

The DLLT regularly hosts speakers, community forums, work parties, workshops and leads outdoor adventures that highlight the natural and cultural history of the Maine woods and waters.  Visit our website to discover what is happening next!


(L-R)Steve Schaefer, David Montague, Roxzanna Montague, Angie Cole, Sue Whitely, David Swift, Andrea Swift, Laura Schaefer, Vivian Noakes(front), Lee Whitely, and Sam the Dog pose with some of their tips