PLEASANT HILL, Ore. — Around 80,000 Christmas trees are grown at Northern Lights Christmas Tree farm. As the holiday season quickly approaches, workers on the farm are preparing for the busy season to begin.
Whether looking for a big tree or just a little one, local Christmas tree farms have just about any type you can imagine. “We’re standing in a Noble Fir field here. We also raise grand fir, douglas fir, Nordman fir, and Frasier fir. Those are the five primary varieties that we have,” said Bob Shutte, owner of Northern Lights Christmas tree farm.
As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches, the farm is not only getting ready to open its doors for choose and cut tree sales, but also shipping trees to different parts of the country. “Our trees go as far east as the state of Missouri, obviously down to California, we sell a lot of trees here,” said Shutte.
It’s a crop that takes seven to ten years to grow and in its first year in the ground the new trees need a wet and cool spring and summer, something the Willamette Valley didn’t see this year. “We try our best to keep the irrigation on them when they need it, but that doesn’t always work successfully so we had a fairly high loss on our new plants this spring,” said Shutte.
But if you’re looking for an adventure, another option for finding a tree is buying a five dollar permit from the forest service and heading out into the forest to find your own. “You have to find an area that doesn’t have other trees shading out your tree, so you know to find the pockets where they’re growing can be a little difficult,” said Katie Isacksen, Willamette National Forest spokesperson.
With the help of maps and maybe a little bit of luck the hunt for a tree can be successful. “You should plan a full day when you got to the forest and you know always carry your emergency kit and have snow tires and just prepare for the unexpected,” said Isacksen.
Whether picking a tree farm or forest to find that perfect tree, the search for perfection is tradition for many families.
Both the US Forest Service and tree farmers said the key to finding the perfect Christmas tree is knowing just how tall of a tree will fit in your house because once you get outside a lot of trees might be taller than you think.