Cut Your Own: Local Christmas Tree Farm
November 27, 2009
Many area residents will enjoy Christmas tradition again this year with a fresh, locally grown Christmas tree.. The Country Pine Christmas Tree Farm near Bratt is now open daily until Christmas.
“You come here for the old time experience,” said farm owner Andy Bogdan. “This is so much more than just a plastic tree.”
Visitors to the Christmas tree farm stroll around the trees, which are located in an “L” shape field around a scenic pond with a fountain and ducks. Once the perfect tree is found, visitors can cut their own tree with a supplied saw, or have Bogdan cut it down.
The tree is then shaken to remove any loose needles (and bugs), then it’s ready to head home or it can be bagged for easier transport.
During the “experience”, visitors can also enjoy free cookies, apple juice, candy canes for the kids and lots of Christmas music. “The kids can run and play, and have the time of their lives looking for just the right tree,” Bogdan said.
Tree varieties include Virginia Pines, Leylend Cypress and Carolina Sapphires. If you have allergies, he said the Leylend Cypress is the perfect tree. It will not drop needles and has virtually no smell. The Carolina Sapphire has an intriguing aroma that is a mix of lemon, lime and mint. The Virginia Pine has that classic pine Christmas tree smell.
True fresh cut trees cut on the farm will last from before Thanksgiving until well after Christmas, Bogdan said.
Country Pine Christmas Tree Farm is one of the few remaining Christmas tree farms in Northwest Florida or South Alabama, and is the only one in the immediate area. There were a few more prior to hurricane Ivan and Dennis, Bogdan said, but most did not survive.
“You had the direct damage from the wind,” he said. “Then you have the delayed die back from damage to the trees. Exotic bugs and fungus that were not here before were blown in, and trees around here had no resistance.”
“”The trees have had good growth since the hurricane. An average seven or eight foot tall Christmas tree will grow from a seedling in about four years. “They grow much faster here in the South than they do up north,” he said.
With a little straightening and tender loving care, Bogdan’s trees post-hurricane are ready for a living room and a visit from Santa. Prices vary depending on the variety of tree and height.
Bogdan and his wife moved to the Davisville area from Miami after he retired from Eastern Airlines. He was looking for a little something to do in his retirement and settled on Christmas tree farmer over 10 years ago.
“I’d never farmed before, but ended up with a Christmas tree farm,” he said. “But it’s a nice business. It’s not like being a doctor or a lawyer where people you deal with are not happy. At a Christmas tree farm, everybody is happy when they come here.”
The Country Pine Christmas Tree Farm is located at 5001 Still Road, just south of Highway 4. A map is at the bottom of this page. The farm is open 8 a.m. to dark daily. Trees range is size from table-top to 12 feet. (850) 327-4600.
Pictured top: A few of the trees at the Country Pine Christmas Tree Farm near Bratt. Pictured middle: At the Christmas tree farm, you can use one of their saws to cut your own tree. Pictured below: The Country Pine Christmas Tree Farm stand with tree accessories plus goodies like free apple juice, cookies and candy canes for the kids. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.