LUFKIN, TX (KTRE)
Instead of purchasing electronics this Black Friday, some East Texans chose to shop for Christmas trees at the new Angelina County Christmas tree farm.
The Kendrick Farm's Choose and Cut Tree Farm opened for the first time Friday. It takes years of hard work to start a Christmas tree farm as East Texas News found out.
It took the Kendrick family years to grow these tree, and in seconds, the hand-planted Christmas tree is chopped down, netted up, and ready to be decorated. Preparations for these Christmas trees started back in 2008.
"We have planted every January since then," Ashley White, Kendrick Farm's co-owner said. "It takes five years for the trees to fully grow. And as you can see there are some that are short, some that are tall. Each tree is planted by hand, and a lot of people don't realize that. It's really a lot of hard work."
In the past few years, the Kendrick family has had a few setbacks, but things like droughts and wildfires didn't stop them from opening their farm.
"A lot of times we saw smoke coming from the fires, and it put a lot of fear into us," White said. "You see a lot of small saplings with the larger trees and that's trees we lost during the drought. We've had some setbacks since then. My mom went through breast cancer right after we started planting, so that set us back a year and a half or so, but we came through that as well."
Christmas is the Kendrick family's favorite time of the year, and they couldn't be happier to start a tradition for many.
"That's what we hope for more than anything is that we can start traditions for all the families in Angelina County or other counties," White said. "That's what we wanted, and it brings complete joy to us to watch them run around and pick out a tree."
During the Choose and Cut Tree Farm's grand opening, families took their time to look through the 600-plus trees to find that perfect one.
"They are very excited about coming to get their own Christmas tree this year," Danielle Perry, one of Choose and Cut Tree Farm's first customers, said. "Having a real tree is so much more just traditional and fun than having an artificial tree, so it was good for us that they're open, they're local, and that we can support a local family."
The Kendrick family hopes each family finds a "tree-mendous" tree this Christmas season.