WEST CHAZY — Despite dropping temperatures and ice-nipped wind, live Christmas trees are still worth the trouble for many North Country residents.
For those dreaming of a "green" Christmas, the decision to buy a real tree is an easy one to make.
"We have families that have been coming here for 23 years," said Dave Goslin, who owns D&D Tree Farm in West Chazy with his wife, Deb.
Goslin, whose tree-farming career began 30 years ago when he planted his first trees, now has 20 acres of evergreens available for people to browse. He said that this year, more people have been braving the cold than ever before, looking for the perfect centerpiece to their holiday festivities.
"Last year, I tried selling pre-cut trees, but it didn't really work," Goslin said. "I think people want the experience of cutting their own tree."
SMELLS LIKE CHRISTMAS
After perusing the sloped expanse of the D&D Tree Farm, Adam Mintz and his 4-year-old son, David, finally settled on a stately balsam fir. Bandsaw in hand, Mintz dragged the tree from its plot toward the parking lot with the help of his son, whose little hands weren't quite big enough to stretch around the tree's freshly severed trunk.
"To me, the smell of a real tree says Christmas," Mintz said. "It's fun to come out here with the family. We make an afternoon out of it."
TREES NEED SHAPING
The 6-foot-tall tree Mintz and his son selected was planted about 10 years ago. Goslin purchases the trees when they are 5 years old, plants them and prunes them until they are tall enough to be cut.
"Each tree needs a haircut every year," Goslin said. "It helps them keep a nice shape."
The shape Goslin referred to is the symmetrical cone shape emulated in most store-bought specimens. Since aesthetics aren't necessarily a living tree's primary concern when growing, a little maintenance is required to keep their limbs in check.