Cuttin’ and baggin’

These days, Christmas trees come in all shapes, sizes and prices.

For some people, artificial trees are the only ones to buy and they do have certain advantages. You don’t have to worry about the needles dropping off and getting stuck in the carpet, they don’t need to be watered periodically and when Christmas season is over, all that needs to be done is stuff them back in the box and tote the box out to the garage until next year.

If you’ve got a big budget set aside for the holidays, you can have an 8-foot, prelit flocked tree sent mail order from Hammacher Schlemmer in New York City. The tree has 1,246 tips with branches strong enough to hold heavy ornaments and is strung with 700 lights. All this for the incredibly low price of $659.95, less shipping.

That might be just a wee bit over the top for most people.

In the minds of others, going out and cutting a fresh tree has become a holiday tradition, right up there with hitting the malls and shopping for early-season bargains.

To those folks, nothing makes a house smell better than a freshly-cut tree in the living room.

For Coupeville residents Craig Anderson, his wife, Kristy, and sons Aiden and Chase, this meant a trip to Hennrich Tree Farm on Hastie Lake Road to find just the right one to cover with lights, ornaments and tinsel before encircling the evergreen with gaily-wrapped packages.

For the family, the selection process was half the fun and while Craig and Aiden walked between the rows of pine trees toting the saw and looking for one with just the right amount of foliage, Kristy pushed baby Chase in the stroller.

Soon the perfect tree was located, one that Kristy said had a flat side so it could fit properly against the wall.

“We come here every year to cut our tree,” she said. “We keep saying we’re going to get an artificial one and every year we keep coming back.”

After felling the tree, Craig and Aiden dragged it back to where Lisa Boyer (“I’m really Lisa Hennrich-Boyer,” she said), helped run the tree through a special machine that put it in a net bag for easy transport.

“Bagging is the best investment,” Craig said, as the evergreen emerged from the machine.

Boyer said her parents sold their first tree from the farm back in 1973.

“I really don’t know how many trees we sell a year,” she said. “It varies and we know we’ve had a good year when we sell enough to want to keep doing it. It’s become kind of a tradition now and we enjoy all the people who come out here to cut one.”

The Hennrich Tree Farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

Another location to cut a fresh tree is at the Wood Bee Christmas Tree Farm on Torpedo Road.

Don’t want to cut your own tree? Then you might want to check out the trees the Oak Harbor Lions Club has for sale in their lot next to the Chamber of Commerce building on Highway 20.

Many of the grocery stores in town also have trees for sale, as does Rite Aid, but you’d better hurry — the countdown has already begun and you’ve only got 16 shopping days left.

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