You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
Family
Christmas tree farmers say extra week needed for nicer trees

Only people with a Charlie Brown mindset want a skimpy-looking tree for Christmas morning, so Christmas tree farm owners are telling customers to wait an extra week this year so the trees will look nicer for longer.

One of those owners, Kim Adams, who co-owns Oakland Tree Farm, has been selling trees for 24 years.

“This is an early Thanksgiving, and we have not had a lot of rain, so we are really discouraging people from buying Douglas Firs and Grand Firs this first weekend until the trees can get a good drink,” she said. “The last thing we want is to have a house fire or people having brown trees before Christmas.”

Adams said the farm has about 1,000 families come to the farm and pick out their trees, and it’s become more popular as other tree farms have closed. Typically the weekend following Thanksgiving is the farm’s busiest.

This year, the farm is expected to stay open until Dec. 18 or 19. Self-cut trees are $7 per foot, but the farm also has a variety of pre-cut trees that are individually priced.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, consumers buy approximately 25 to 30 million Christmas trees in the U.S.

“We have a hand saw we can loan and a trailer that goes around and picks up everybody’s trees for them,” Adams said. “We have a tree shaker and a baler and we always have complimentary hot chocolate and hot cider. On the weekends, we will also have a photographer here.”

Average Christmas trees are 6- to 7-feet tall and take about seven years to reach that height. Those who would rather pick up their tree like they pick up their groceries can visit businesses like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ray’s Food Place in Green.

Ray’s Produce Manager Forrest Ferguson said he already sold a handful of trees by Thanksgiving and he expected all of the trees to be gone by Christmas.

“I recommend getting your Christmas tree as early as possible,” he said. “We get one load, and once the store sells out, they are sold out.”

Ray’s sells trees for $35 to $55 apiece. Customers choose their tree, bring the tag to the register and load the tree up to take home.

About 350,000 acres are dedicated to growing Christmas trees nationwide, most of the trees coming from Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.

LOCAL TREE FARMS AND LOTS:

OAKLAND TREE FARM: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 23 to Dec. 19. 106 Green Valley Road, Oakland. 541-459-1488. U-cut, pre-cut, pre-flocked trees, wreaths and more.

UMPQUA FAMILY TREE FARM: Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily beginning Nov. 23, in the parking lot of Sherm’s Thunderbird Market on Northwest Stewart Parkway in Roseburg.

GROTH’S TREE FARM: Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturday and Sunday, from Nov. 23 to Dec. 16. 529 Wild River Drive, Roseburg. Grand, Douglas, and Nordmann Fir trees as well as Scotch Pines. 541-740-1831.

4-H CHRISTMAS TREE LOT: Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily beginning Nov. 25. Near Dutch Bros. on Northwest Stewart Parkway in Roseburg.

GEORGE’S U-CUT CHRISTMAS TREE FARM: Open 9 a.m. to dark Friday, Saturday and Sunday beginning Nov. 30. Douglas and Grand Fir trees. 1076 Starveout Creek Road, Azalea. 541-476-7999.

COWBOY TREE YARD AND GARDEN CENTER: Native and cultured trees. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. 592 NE Chestnut Ave., Roseburg. Opens after Thanksgiving. 541-672-0906.

Schedules are subject to change

FOREST PERMITS:

There is something satisfying about hunting down and cutting your own Christmas tree. Thankfully, we live in an area where we are able to venture out into local areas and choose the perfect one.

These personal-use permits cost $5 per tree. However, each household is limited to no more than five trees. Permits are available until Dec. 22 and may only be used on lands open to Christmas tree harvesting in the Umpqua National Forest. Maps identifying these areas will be provided at the time of permit purchase. The maximum tree height is 12 feet.

Christmas tree permits are available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at Umpqua National Forest offices in Glide, Tiller, Toketee and Cottage Grove.

As part of the Every Kid in a Park program, fourth graders who get free passes to access thousands of sites across the country may also bring that pass into their local Forest Service office and receive one free Christmas tree permit. For these passes, visit www.everykidinapark.gov. The fourth grader holding the pass must be present to receive the free permit.

Permits are also on sale at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roseburg, the Glide Store and Peel Country Store in Glide, the Idleyld Trading Post and the Dry Creek Store in Idleyld Park, Diamond Lake Resort, Myrtle Creek City Hall, Canyon Market in Canyonville, Bear Market in Tiller, Killion’s Market in Cottage Grove and the Java Run locations on Harvard Avenue and Stephens Street in Roseburg and the location in Green.

Those planning to visit the forest this season are advised to be prepared for adverse weather and winter road conditions, and bring along warm clothing, a winter survival kit containing traction devices, a shovel, saw or ax, flares, flashlight, food, water and matches, as well as a full tank of gas. They are also encouraged to watch for log trucks on forest roads and to tell someone where they are going and their expected return time.

For more information, call the Umpqua National Forest at 541-957-3200.


Weather
Oakland residents' Thanksgiving meals saved after power outages

Halfway through cooking her Thanksgiving turkey, Oakland resident Debbie Hopkins’ power went out.

“I had a lot of my dinner done, but a lot of it wasn’t,” Hopkins said.

She started to get nervous, she said. Hopkins was cooking for 15 friends and family members and didn’t know if the power would come back on.

Her house was one of 81 on Hogan Road that experienced power outages due to high winds Thursday, according to Douglas Electric Cooperative spokesman Todd Munsey. Winds at the Roseburg Regional Airport reached 25 mph, according to the National Weather Service. About 350 customers in the Melrose area and 130 customers in Oakland and Yoncalla also experienced outages, Munsey said in a press release. The outages began around noon, but six electric company crews restored power everywhere by 5:45 p.m.

For many, the outages occurred right as they were cooking dinner. People came to Hopkins’ rescue, however, and her Thanksgiving meal was saved.

She hooked up a generator to her house, which turned the lights and the TV back on, but she still couldn’t use the oven, she said. Her daughter-in-law drove over and took the half-cooked turkey to her boyfriend’s house and they finished cooking it there. A friend picked up Hopkins’ sweet potatoes and baked them at her house.

“If they wanted to eat, they had to help,” Hopkins said. “All the food showed up and we had a great dinner. If nothing else, we could have ham and cold biscuits, you know. We were going to eat and be thankful for what we had. But it worked out.”

Hogan Road resident Reta Wittlock’s power also went out. She said she was thankful she wasn’t having Thanksgiving dinner at her house. But the outage still impacted her food preparation.

“I was making pies and a cake, and I couldn’t finish those,” Wittlock said. “I had to load everything up and take it with us and cook up there when we got to our destination. It was a pain.”

She was planning to leave for her daughter’s house in Creswell at noon but ended up leaving an hour later after her husband hooked up a generator to their house, allowing Wittlock to dry her hair. She said she was happy to be able to cook her pumpkin meringue pie and green bean casserole at her daughter’s house in time for dinner.

“It worked out fine,” Wittlock said. “It could have been worse that’s for sure.”


ANDREW SCRIVANI/new york times file photo  

About 500 residents lost power on Thanksgiving after strong winds knocked out power in the Roseburg, Oakland, Sutherlin and Yoncalla areas.