By: Lorrie Jackson | Category: Special Interest | Issue: December 2006
Leslie and Eric Horry have been buying their trees from Owasso Tree and Berry Farm for twenty years and plan to continue the tradition with their son Jonathon for years to come.
As the world’s pace grows ever more hectic, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find experiences that help bind the family unit together. So it is good to know that just a couple of hours at Owasso Tree and Berry Farm can create warm holiday memories to last a lifetime.
“We believe in building traditions and creating memories,” says Bill Jacobs, who owns and operates Owasso Tree and Berry Farm with his wife, Paula. “If a real tree was not a part of your childhood, you can still make sure it is a part of your children’s tradition. We have families who started coming with their kids twenty years ago and are now bringing their grandchildren.”
Choosing a tree at Owasso Tree and Berry Farm is truly a family affair. Upon your arrival you and your family can load up and take a hayride tour through the acres and acres of Virginia Pines. Once you have chosen your tree, you have the option of cutting it yourself or having a member of the farm’s staff cut it for you. The tree then will ride back with you to the gift shop area, where it will be shaken free of loose needles, drilled for the stand, baled, and loaded securely onto your vehicle.
Do you prefer a fir to a pine? Owasso Tree and Berry Farm offers a huge selection of these trees as well. Every year, hundreds of Noble, Douglas, Grand and Fraser Firs are shipped in from Oregon and North Carolina in refrigerated reefers, stored in a protective barn and displayed in water. Each tree receives a fresh cut and is shaken, drilled for the stand and baled before loading, just like the Virginia pines.
No matter what kind of tree you prefer, Owasso Tree and Berry Farm is sure to have what you need, with trees ranging from table top size to eleven feet. Bill strongly suggests that before you shop for your tree that you thoroughly measure the space it will occupy, keeping in mind both circumference and height. “I always tell people the tree grows when you get it home,” Bill says. “It will be bigger than you think.”
While you are waiting for your tree to be prepared and loaded, be sure to visit the gift shop, where you can warm up with hot cider as you peruse the great selection of Christmas ornaments and fresh greenery. “We have six styles of garland and five sizes of wreaths in two styles plus custom decorated wreaths,” says Paula Jacobs. “And as always, we have free candy canes for the kids.”
“In fact,” Paula adds, “We don’t charge for anything the kids do on the farm. The hayride, cider, candy canes and photo opportunities are all free.”
The popularity of a real Christmas tree is returning, especially since Christmas trees are a renewable resource. Years ago, people would trudge into the woods to choose a tree, leaving behind an empty spot in the forest. Today, Christmas trees are grown in fields which are immediately replanted when the trees reach maturity and are cut down. Bill Jacobs points out that the only environmental choice you have is a real tree. “A lot of people buy an artificial tree, thinking they are saving the earth,” Bill explains. “But an artificial tree’s life span is only about five years, and most of them start looking shabby after two. Then they end up in a landfill where they take forever to decompose, since they are made from petroleum products.”
Bill points to many uses for your tree once holiday festivities have passed. In addition to the traditional “burning of the greens” sponsored by many cities, many old Christmas trees can be put into lakes and ponds for fish habitat. For bird lovers, Bill has this suggestion: drive a tee post into the ground near your bird feeder and attach the old tree to it. This provides shelter, protection from the elements and other wildlife, and a place to perch for your winged friends. “The birds will come in droves,” Bill promises.
So if you are looking to create a tradition that will offer rewards far into the New Year, mark your calendars for a visit Owasso Tree and Berry Farm. Christmas hours, which begin the day after Thanksgiving, will be Monday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m., with extended hours on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Be sure to bring your camera. “We have lots of places to take family pictures,” says Paula. “You will want to be sure and preserve the memories you have created.”