By Brianna Bush
During the holiday season people are busy trying to find the perfect thing to keep traditions going or start new ones all together. For some people, finding the perfect Christmas tree is a tradition that lasts through generations of families.
In the Brockport area there are a few farms that offer a friendly environment and a wide selection of trees. For two generations the Shetler Tree Farm has been providing both pre-cut and uncut trees, as well as homemade decorations and other goods.
Shetler Tree Farm collaborates with Westside Gardens by Brenda for their wreaths and other decorations, including kissing balls, ornaments and more. Shetler Tree Farms also works with Retseh Cor, an Etsy shop that specializes in hand-drawn ornaments of houses and other buildings.
Once you pull up to the farm and exit your vehicle you are usually greeted by one of the workers, who will give you the rundown on how their specific farm works.
“It was so nice to actually have someone walk me through the process of what to do and have all the options explained,” Breanna Rosen said. “It was my first time getting a tree by myself without my dad and I didn’t really know how to go about cutting a tree down.”
Rosen is a student at SUNY Brockport and this is her first year living on her own, both Rosen and her roommate decided to go to Shetler Tree Farm to cut down their first “Adult Tree.” After looking at all of the pre-cut trees, they decided on cutting it down to get the full experience.
If you are to decide to cut down a tree, rather than pick one of the pre-cut trees, you are given a handmade cart to help drag the tree, a hand saw and a knee pad to protect the clothes you are wearing. The knee pad is big enough for people to lay on to get a better angel of the stump.
After cutting down or selecting the perfect tree, you are instructed to take it to the baler for easier transport. To make sure there are no animals hiding in the trees they are brought to a machine that shakes out any dead needles and/or animals that are in the tree. It is then run through the baler and loaded back onto their designated carts to be brought to cars to be taken home.
If there is a tree that you think is perfect but just a little too big for your tree room, the workers will take off a few inches as well as trim off any unwanted branches. After that is done people are free to pay and leave or look around the shop to see if they would like any of the handmade items to take home or give as gifts.
Shetler Tree Farms also has a makeshift “photobooth” set up for people to take fun memorable pictures at. The photobooth consists of a hay bale with a wooden sign that reads “2020.”
“I thought the photobooth set up was a great idea,” Rosen said. “It was definitely better than my roommate and I trying to take pictures of each other. I think the owner, the guy who greeted us, offered to take a photo of us together. It was cute, they had these signs that we held up, my roommates said “naughty” and mine said “nice,” fitting for the two of us.”
The workers at Shetler Tree Farm are happy to say that the land is well groomed and easily navigable for families, but that’s not to say that accidents don’t happen.
“Our tree farm’s fields are very well groomed, but there are some things that are beyond the farmer’s control,” the website states. “Be careful of tree stumps, an occasional vine, uneven ground and sharp saws.”
During its open season, Shetler Tree Farm’s hours vary depending on the day and can be found on its Facebook page and its website. Unfortunately, the season has come to an end with Christmas just a little over a week away.