Local Christmas tree farmers spread holiday cheer amid unprecedented year


(NEW YORK) — After a virus that has separated so many, early Christmas tree shoppers are looking to get back to their roots and focus on what’s important: family.

Across the country, Americans are picking up their Christmas trees earlier this year and many are turning back to real trees, grown by local farmers, in record numbers, according to the farms that spoke with ABC News.

At the Mistletoe Christmas Tree Farm in Stow, Massachusetts, one family said that they’re grateful for the new memory together.

“It’s been a tough year and I think just to celebrate it earlier and try to get out here and do something with the family and enjoy it has been fun,” said father Tom McNamara.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, local tree farmer Brad Barick at Back Acres Christmas Tree Farm said that his job is rooted in the community.

Dale Barker, a third generation farmer at the Barkers Christmas Tree Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, said his family has been growing Christmas trees for nearly 80 years, and although planted in tradition, Barker said that 2020 was the year of change.

“COVID has made 2020 the year of change for all us, but we’ve made many changes around here,” said Barker, who urged Americans to shop local. “Made in America is very important during this year of the pandemic.”n’

In Galien, Michigan, Kris Goodenough at Pinecrest Christmas Tree Farm echoed a similar sentiment: support local business.

“Purchase that Made in America… the real Christmas tree this year. By doing so, you are helping, maybe put someone to work helping at those Christmas tree farms,” said Goodenough.

While many shop local this year, some are turning toward a more hands-on tradition. The Jonsteen Tree Company in McKinleyville, California, sends customers a kit to grow their own Christmas tree and farmer Jonathan Claasen said there’s been an uptick in sales.

“Amidst this pandemic, Stern and I feel really privileged to have a company that’s being supported by Americans and that we’re able to employ our people and keep working,” said Claasen.

From coast to coast, farmer Jeff Larcom of Corvallis, Oregon, said that his farm, Holiday Tree Farms, is happily working hard to ship trees across the U.S.

“We’re seeing customers that are really focused on the family tradition,” he told ABC News’ World News Tonight. “Going out and buying a real tree this year.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.