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Christmas tree lots see seasonal business
For many, picking a tree is a tradition
Jonathan Ceballos couldn’t contain his excitement on Saturday afternoon as he ran up and down the rows of Douglas, Noble and Grand firs at Bodley Family Farms.
Ceballos came with his aunt, Carmen Perez, and his cousin, Vianca Perez, to pick out his first real Christmas tree. The farm is located west of Porterville at 21715 Ave. 152.
“I can’t wait for Christmas,” said Ceballos, after his aunt and cousin had perused the selections. According to Vianca Perez, a real tree has one advantage over a fake tree.
“It smells good,” said Vianca. They picked their selection because of the fullness of the tree.
Owned by three partners, Tom Bodley, Neal Moffett and Kelley Cusenbary, the farm has been in operation for two years. They sell three types of trees from Oregon at heights varying from 3 feet to 10 feet.
Despite the unpredictable weather, customers were plentiful Saturday.
“It’s really a steady flow. The Christmas spirit is alive and well when people are willing to come out in the rain,” said Cusenbary.
So far, they had sold about 12 trees.
The trees range up in price starting from $19.95. Cusenbary said once a tree is sold they will cut the tree if needed, help customers fit the tree in a tree stand and deliver it. On the lot they can display 60 trees, but they have about 500 trees in their inventory.
Bodley Family Farms had to pay more for the delivery of trees this season.
“We had the trees booked for $1,500 two months ago and the truckers kept jacking it up,” said Moffett. They paid $2,600 for the trees.
However, they have not increased prices. Despite the trouble Cusenbary remains positive about sales.
“It’s definitely going to be more than last year. We’ve done a better job of getting the word out,” said Cusenbary.
On Dec. 22, the business will raffle the Wounded Warrior Tree that appeared in the Children’s Christmas Parade. The tree is fully decorated tree, but the public can donate ornaments. Proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Raffle tickets are $5.
At Hannegan’s Christmas Tree Lot, 187 W. Olive Ave., the crowds came in droves.
“Today has been the busiest day so far,” said owner Brad Hannegan. The lot sells Noble,
Douglas and Grand firs. The trees range from $18 to $175.
The Bourba family was looking for the perfect tree.
“My mother is 77 and she still gets a real tree. It’s just a good feeling and a good smell,” said Eric Bourba, who brought his wife, Caron, and children, Brandi and Eric, to look for a tree.
Where to find Christmas Trees
- Save Mart, 50 W. Olive Ave. and 900 W. Henderson Ave.
- St. Joseph’s Christmas Tree Farm, 27155 Highway 190
- El Gallito, 283 W. Olive Ave.
- Hannegan’s Christmas tree lot on 187 W. Olive Ave.
- Lowe’s, 500 W. Vandalia Ave.
- Walmart, 1250 W. Henderson Ave.
- Bodley Family Farms, 21715 Ave. 152.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
The US Fire Administration provides the following tips to make this holiday season safe:
- Keep your tree away from heat sources including fireplaces, as they could dry out the tree and make it more susceptible to catching fire.
- Do not throw needles or branches into a fire.
- After you are finished with the tree or it becomes dry, remove it. Take it to a recycling center or have it picked up by a community pick-up service.
- Check holiday lights for cracks, breaks, extra twists, smashed or damaged sockets, or wear and replace immediately.
- Only use approved extension cords.
- Do not overload outlets.
- Only light lights if someone is in the room.
- Do not use lit candles.
- Do not leave your home with candles burning.
Be prepared for a fire:
- Have a working smoke alarm that sounds both when there is a fire and when there are fumes.
- Always have and practice an escape plan. Make sure you have at least two routes in case of a fire.