Chopping Christmas tradition alive and well

The tradition of chopping down your own Christmas tree is alive and well in Clarks Grove at Budd’s Tree Farm.

Budd’s Tree Farm, owned by Paul and Val Budd, consists of 18 acres with approximately 12,000 to 14,000 trees. The Budd’s started the farm in 1973 and started selling trees in 1983. [Grandfather’s Christmas Tree]

“This is a choose and cut farm,” said Paul Budd. “We hand people a saw at the gate, they come in, find a tree they like and cut it down. The trees are tagged with a number and a price.”

The tree farm is located on County Road 22, also known as North Bridge Avenue, across County Road 25.

There are three different kinds of pines at the tree farm: the long needle White and Norway pines and the medium needle Scotch pine.

“We have all different lengths of needles,” said Paul Budd. “We also have Fraser, Balsam and White firs which are short needle and we have Blue Spruce. They aren’t as popular because the needles are really shaper but they are a very pretty tree. The Balsam fir has a beautiful smell, and the White fir has a fruity smell.”

Cutting down a tree is only half the battle, you have to get it home.

“When they get home, we recommend they get them in water right away,” said Paul Budd. “If you wait too long you have to make another cut on the stem. You have a pretty good period of time, about 8 hours, before you have to have it in water. We always use hot water. It kind of steams up the tree and it brings out the fragrance. It is important to keep it watered.”

Most people have trouble keeping the trees watered, said Paul Budd.

“Most stands have the capacity to hold quite a bit of water, but the tree can drink a lot of water too,” he said.

The Superior Tree Stand, designed by Budd’s father, is available at the tree farm for $20.

“Back when he invented it most people had a small pot with three legs, which was not stable and hard to adjust and it didn’t hold a lot of water,” Paul Budd said. “Dad decided to use a tent stake method to have four guide ropes come to the tree, hook to a chain and then pull tight. It holds a pretty good size tree if it is straight.”

“We’ve had so many people say it has saved their marriage,” said Val Budd. “It is so easy to set up and it works so well.” [Family Countdown to Christmas: A Day-By-Day Celebration]

At the tree farm, pines run between $20 and $35 and firs run between $40 and $75.

“We price by size and quality, we use to price them per foot, but that is very long and tedious,” said Paul Budd. “We can’t be competitive with Wal-Mart and Home Depot, their prices are way under.”

Wreaths and swags are also for sale at the tree farm and area 4H clubs bake cookies and have hot cider available for people.

“We have fun with the farm,” said Paul Budd. “A lot of people come out and we can all visit. We have a good time. A lot of the same people come back every year. We’ve tried to create something that is going to be fun, something that people can do together.”

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