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Christmas tree farms open for season

Posted at 11:31 PM, Nov 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 09:22:41-05

The weekend after Thanksgiving means a lot of shopping, traveling and for some families, cutting down their Christmas trees. It's the first weekend many farms are open. 

"I like to do it as early as possible," Shanelle Williams said. "We thought this would be something fun to do, come down as a family and cut it down ourselves."

The tradition brought the Williams family from Baltimore to Frostee Tree Farm in Perry Hall. Owner Paul Stiffler says they started selling back in 1981, their own family tradition.
 
"My grandparents years ago and all them were in it. Cousins and uncles from western Pennsylvania and I've always been in the tree business," Stiffler said. 

He says this years' wet weather has caused a bit of a shortage. 

"When the trees are too wet, it's like anything else ... they don't like wet feet. And we've had a record year this year with water and we're still getting it too. We just had a bad storm last night again," Stiffler sid. 

This opening weekend didn't turn out big crowds like the last few years, but there are some glimmers of hope. 

"I'm glad to see that a lot of younger people are coming out. We had a lot of new faces wanted to get their trees like this and it's good to keep the tradition going, especially for the younger people," Stiffler said. 

Like Kaelin O'Connell and her husband Mike Gaumer, who came out Sunday to find the perfect tree.

"We actually talked about just going to a parking lot or a grocery store to get one but my husband was really excited about cutting one down himself so that's what we are here to do," O'Connell said. "We wanted one that would fit in our home, wouldn't be too big and was really full and we think we found the perfect one."

The perfect tree for another family tradition. 

"We collect ornaments and his mom gives us each one every year so it's always a fun tradition for us to decorate together," O'Connell said. 
 
"Putting the ornaments on is the best part. Old ornaments, new ornaments; it's fun to go through them all, see them, hang them up and get in the Christmas spirit," Gaumer said. 

While a fun tradition, trees can also cause fires if not handled properly. The Christmas Tree Association says fresh trees are less likely yo catch fire so look for one with vibrant green needles. You should also keep it away from heat sources, keep the base filled with water and turn off tree lights each night.