Christmas Chopping

With the Christmas season approaching faster than Santa’s sleigh riding a strong tailwind, business at Jackson County tree farms is in full swing.

About 10 a.m. Sunday, the first customers arrived at Dabbert’s Christmas Tree Farm on Dearing Road. [The Wonderful World of Christmas Trees]

Off-and-on rain showers and muddy ground kept Sunday sales low, owner John Dabbert said, but there was a trickle of customers throughout the first half of the day.

Phil and Cathi Hanes and son Nate Hanes made the drive from Concord to Dabbert’s farm Sunday afternoon. It was their first visit, Phil Hanes said, but the family always has used live Christmas trees.

“The main one with the presents under it is a live tree,” Cathi Hanes said.

Hanes uses small artificial trees for decorations, she said.

John and Evelyn Dabbert, with the help of their four daughters, began selling Christmas trees 45 years ago. The trees were grown at the farm and sold for $2 each.

“When (the kids) were in school, that was the only help we had,” John Dabbert said.

“We didn’t have any motorized equipment, so they would drag the trees out by hand.”

Dabbert’s tree prices have not risen all that much since those early days. He sells spruce and fir trees for $20.

“It’s been a hobby more than anything,” Evelyn Dabbert said.

Visiting a tree farm to search for and cut a live Christmas tree is a “nice family outing,” Cathi Hanes said.

“People just love to come out,” John Dabbert said. “A lot of them are from town and don’t get out in the country.” [An Old-Fashioned Country Christmas: A Celebration of the Holiday Season]

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