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Area Christmas tree farmers expect busy season

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:02 PM EST
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TOWN OF CROGHAN, New York (WWNY) - The Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t even hit the table yet, but local tree farmers will tell you area residents already have an eye on late December, looking for the best fir or spruce on the market.

Kelley’s Tree Farm in the town of Croghan is quiet, but not for long.

“It’s been busy. I can tell it’s going to be a busy year because we have had quite a few calls already,” said Terry Kelley.

Kelley took the reins of his father’s tree farm almost 40 years ago, growing hundreds of balsam and Fraser fir trees every year.

“Balsam fir is a little bit easier to raise because that’s their native fir and you got to fertilize them, shear them, but they are fairly easy to grow,” he said.

While the field is full now and ready for this year’s season, Kelley says the crop for the next several years will probably be a lot lower

He says it’s due to some farmers getting out of the tree business a few years ago, changing gears to cash crops like corn and soy beans.

At Simmons Farm in Copenhagen, owner Shari Simmons says their unique growing conditions cause some trees to take 15 years to mature. But, at the volumes they plant yearly, they are always ready for the holiday season. With the calls they’re already getting, they’re going to need them.

“A lot of people think they are not going to get what they want so they just go to jump right on the bandwagon and go and get it right now,” said Simmons.

Many farms in Lewis County are beginning to sell pre-cut trees and start “U cut,” where you cut your own tree, this weekend.

See below to find more information about where those farms are.

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