INDEPENDENCE, La. — It all starts with a decision. Buy an artificial tree or take a trip to Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm in Independence? If you come out to the farm in Tangipahoa Parish, you'll meet farmer Joe Gersch.
“Well a real tree is real life," Gersh said. “Giving your kids the opportunity to see what they’re like when they’re growing. You know a lot of kids that come here, they come from diverse backgrounds. Some of them don’t even know what a pine tree is.”
According to Gersch, the farm has 7,000 trees on the property with 1,500 available for sale.
“We’ve been here for 14 years selling. We’ve been planting for 19," Gersch said.
His family's small decision to plant seeds is making a big impact on family traditions years later.
The price of the trees all depends on two things; where they come from and how tall they are. A field-grown tree will run about $10 a foot, Gersch said.
“Everything changes by height. It’s got to do with the age of the tree. The amount of time spent dealing with the tree," Gersch said.
But if you decide you want a Fraiser Fir that's shipped in from North Carolina to the farm, you can expect to pay more.
"I cannot grow that here. If I could, I would," Gersch said.
Gersch said the price of trees has gone up in recent years.
“Most of that’s based on the idea that fertilizer is twice what it used to be. Everything has gone up in cost so there had to be an increase somewhere to be able to survive in a farm aspect," Gersch said.
Gersch said it's important to pick a healthy tree and continue to water it once you take it home. Christmas trees can be a fire hazard.
“You want to have a new cut on it before you put it in your water at home. Don’t let it dry out," Gersch said.
Gersch also said if you keep the cut of the tree fresh and the water full, you can take them home today.
You can also have your tree flocked. Flocked trees have a white fire retardant. It's a win-win for those wanting a snowlike look that won't melt in the Louisiana heat.
“But I still would water a flocked tree," Gersch said.
If you choose to cut your tree at a farm, don't rush the process, Gersch said.
“The biggest thing is come out and enjoy your day, take your time, and pick out the special tree for yourself," Gersch said.
No matter what tree you put up, it's about the people gathered around it. Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm is open 9-5 every day until Dec. 11th.
No matter what tree you put up, it's about the people gathered around it.
Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm is open 9-5 every day until Dec. 11th.