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Family-run Christmas Tree farm prepared for opening weekend rush

2 months 1 week 21 hours ago Friday, November 19 2021 Nov 19, 2021 November 19, 2021 9:13 PM November 19, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

INDEPENDENCE, La. - The crew at Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm spent Friday working around the clock, as the holiday season officially starts for them Saturday.

"Opening day is actually the end of this race that, you know, you're not actually in, not necessarily winning or losing," Joe Gersch, who leads the operation, said.

Rows and rows of trees in all sizes, shapes, and varietals, awaiting eager families searching for what they consider the perfect pick

"They're looking for shape," Gersch said. "Some people don't want to have holes in their tree. Some people want a hole in their tree. You can't say what somebody's actual perfect tree is. Some people want their tree to still have that rough look, where it's not completely trimmed."

To passersby, the Christmas trees dotting the farm may seem pristine, but just getting them to this point was a process. Gersch and the rest of the team had to contend with category four Hurricane Ida.

"It pretty much laid down every tree here," Gersch said of the storm.

After a weeks-long effort that involved several extra pairs of hands, most of the trees were back right-side-up, although some still didn't survive.

There are still more than enough to choose from. Gersch estimates the farm has several thousand trees, all in various stages of life.

He expects to sell between 500 and 600 trees this season.

But this year, like most everything else, tree prices will be a bit higher.

"Trying to keep it within reason, but there is gonna be a slight increase, yes," Gersch said.

With the farm shelling out more across the board for fertilizer, diesel, and shipping costs, the increases are necessary, Gersch says.

On top of that, the selection may be a little bit smaller.

"We're dealing with a supply and demand problem, too," Gersch said. "I don't have a lot of the Fraser [firs] that we bring in. We're limited on what we're able to get because we only carry a quality tree that is freshly cut."

Yawn's will be open daily through Dec. 12.

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