LEBANON, Mo — With thanksgiving now behind us, many people are looking full speed ahead to Christmas.
The next few weeks leading up to the holiday are the biggest of the year for one Ozarks business.
Since 1965, Cole’s Tree Farm has been providing families with a personal experience during the holiday season. Jessie Huntley purchased the farm in 2010, but has been part of the business since 1985. He has seen a lot of tree grow, and a lot of them go. He says it takes about 6-8 years to produce a six-foot tree.
“We have a choose and cut operation. People come out and they pick out the tree they want. They cut it down, they bring it back, and we can shake it and rap it for them if they want us to, and then we price it, help them load it, and help them have a merry Christmas. We have full time jobs also, so we’ve got to work it in on the weekends and evenings. So, yeah for us it’s a year round job. We only get paid at the last five weeks of the year,” Huntley says.
With mother nature on their side Saturday, the first three days of business has been blooming. They opened on Thanksgiving day.
“This is our busiest time — this weekend and next will probably be our busiest weekends. People like to get out right after Thanksgiving and get right into the Christmas spirit. We are probably ahead of last year at this time,” Huntley says.
On their 30-acre plot of property, people have no shortage of options. There are nearly 8,000 trees to pick from.
Rather than digging out the old dusty tree that lives in the same box every year, it provides something that can become a tradition.
“We have a lot of families who have been out for 20-30 years. They just enjoy coming out and walking through the fields. Coming out and having the opportunity to be together and pick out their own tree,” Huntley says.
Huntley says if you keep water in your tree stand, your tree will last 6-8 weeks.
When they eventually die, you can bring them back to the farm or take them to a local tree drop off site where they can be recycled and used for wildlife habitats.