In 1974, this aspen leaf electroplating business was re-started and owned by two local Aspen residents who had purchased the original equipment. The leaves were “picked & plated” in the Aspen area until 1985. It was then re-located to Denver to allow greater availability to all parts of the country.
Over the years the business has expanded beyond just Aspen leaves and cones to include Maple, Oak, Birch, Redwood Cones and much more. Consequently, we have operated under several names in order to accommodate the needs of the different regions of the United States (east coast, west coast, Rocky Mountains, mid-west, redwood country, etc.). The expanded business has re-located to the “Heartland of America” (Kansas) and the Rocky Mountain region is a separate business.
We have aligned with people and groups (some students, some families, etc.) who carefully collect leaves in all areas of the country. The leaves cannot be picked until they are fully mature—around July 4. We do not break limbs or harm the tree in any way. Years ago, we consulted with a forest ranger about “picking” leaves and asked if it is harmful in any way. He told us that a mature Aspen tree can have 100,000 leaves or more on it, and to pick a few from the bottom branches is not harmful in any way. Most ornament size leaves are picked up off the ground in late autumn.
There are many detailed, hand finished steps involved with this beatification process. First, every leaf is chosen for its beauty, shape, size and is carefully inspected. After each leaf or cone is dried, then it is plated with copper to protect and retain the natural shape and patterns of the leaf. The lace style leaf has additional steps to duplicate nature’s process. Then each leaf is then electroplated with 24k Gold, fine Silver, or Iridescent Copper.