A History

In 1976 Charlie and Sally Grogan used a veteran’s administration loan to purchase a home in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range. The home came with 20 acres of overgrown grass; or at least that’s what they thought. After closer inspection, newly planted Christmas trees where discovered. A decision was made to grow the trees to maturity. The Grogans joined their local Christmas tree association to gain the knowledge necessary to grow, market and sell the trees. At the time Charlie was teaching auto mechanics at the local community college. After only a few years he found himself thinking more about trees than teaching. At that point the decision was made to become a full time Christmas tree farmer. To accomplish this Sally went to work while Charlie stayed home to care for the kids and trees. Through partnerships with local land owners, Charlie was able to plant more and more trees every year. Most of the trees where sold on his retail lots in San Jose, California. In 1984 they purchased what is today referred to as the main farm. This solidified them as a mid sized Christmas tree farm and Sally quit her job to help with the business.

Charlie and Casey Grogan

Over the years the farm experimented with different varieties of trees. After gaining experience with fourteen different varieties, a decision was made to grow only Noble Fir. Charlie felt that its superiority as a Christmas tree would help establish the farm as a high end producer. In 1992 a Danish seed dealer that Charlie had met contacted him. At the time the seed dealer was working with the Frijsenborg estate in Denmark. He explained the Frijsenborg story and said he would like to export the seed to the U.S. After a trip to Denmark to view the parent orchards and Christmas trees produced by seed, Charlie was on board. Silver Bells focused on growing the seed. They felt this seed produced unique Noble Fir that could be branded. The farm currently has almost 800,000 Silver Bells Blue™ Noble Fir in the ground. In 2000 another high end tree, Nordmann Fir, was added to the product line. Silver Bells Tree Farm has grown from its original 20 acres to over 1600 acres. Of the 1600 acres 700 is dedicated to plantation Christmas trees, the rest is timber ground. The farm ships around 100,000 trees each year all around the world.

Charlie’s commitment to growing trees has lead him to serve the industry as the president of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association from 1986 to 1988 and president of the National Christmas Tree Association from 2004 to 2006.


Below is a photo gallery with pictures taken around the farm over the years. The play button in the center will start the slide show, the second button from the right will enlarge the photo gallery.