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No Snoopy Christmas tree for me
28 November 2017, 12:45 | Tara Lloyd
Singing 'Oh, Christmas Tree' ... then cutting it down
"We wanted to create an experience for families and individuals to come out and celebrate the holiday tradition with a real Christmas tree".
Most tree farms in Iowa are 3 to 8 acres in size and sell trees by choose and harvest method, where customers come to the farm and cut their own trees. Teal has owned the Bark River farm, which opened to the public on Black Friday, for about 36 years.
Annually, members of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association (ICTGA) donate trees to the Capitol Building in Des Moines, including trees for the Governor's Office, the Lt. Governor's Office, and the Rotunda. Trees can only be kept inside for a few days and must then be planted which may not work in our area.
In earnest, Shumate took up tree farming in the 1990s after a four-year stint in the Air Force.
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Megan Underwood, a former Beckley native, said as someone with obsessive compulsive disorder, an artificial tree is much more up her alley. "You also have to remember that the stand is going to add perhaps another six inches to the overall height of the tree, and quite often you find that you are having to cut the top off, or something that compromises the shape of the tree". Beyond this, however, he said the only thing he can do is to hope for less rainfall next year.
Planting trees since 2007, the farm serves families far beyond the Monroe County community.
Artificial trees are pretty, he admitted, but said more often than not people come to his lot after getting rid of their fake trees and to purchase a real one. Who said the tree was worth the extra cost.
"If they're going to leave it up until Christmas, that's quite a span", he said.
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The shop was stocked to the ceiling with ornaments, greeting cards, candles and potential holiday gifts. "Customer service is our main goal, when you come here, we want to make you happy", she said.
Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases, and in turn emit oxygen.
Even though this lot is full of trees right now, Coan said by the end of the week it could be looking more sparse because people are catching wind of the shortage.
"You might have a great year - and a drought the next, and you lose a lot of your transplants".
"You've got to make sure you keep it watered", he said.
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