Crowds return to Elgin Christmas Tree Farm despite pandemic

The hunt for a perfect Christmas tree has been going on at this Elgin farm for three decades. 

Marc Nash and his wife, who own the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm say this year has a more familiar feel. "With COVID last year, we didn’t do the hayrides, just because we couldn’t put everybody on the trailers in close proximity," said Marc Nash. 

The hayrides are back this year. 

The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm covers 96 acres. From the SkyFox Drone, you can see how the pines are grown in sections. Three are currently open. The season started Friday, with about 45-hundred trees available. A lot were taken in the first three days.

"We don’t like any fake trees, this was a fun experience for both of us to come out here and just spend time with the family," said Kevin Schuller who bought a tree with his girlfriend.
The harvesting process, from the ride-in, shaking off the dry needles, to the binding and loading up, depends on the determination of each family." 

Grace Bissell told FOX 7 Austin her past three visits taught a lesson and made the hunt easier. "Faster, every year because we start to realize they all start to look the same, after a while," said Bissell.

Among the smallest lumberjacks on the tree farm were 2-year-old Piera Queuedo and her 2-month-old sister. They got some help from their mom, aunt, and uncle. Eventually, the right tree was found.

"We got three generations at least coming. They’ll tell us the grandparents come out with their children, who they brought when they were little and they got the grandkids with them," said Nash. 

The one thing you won’t find out on the farm is Fraser Firs. 

The company that supplied them went out of business. 

Typically, it takes 5 to 6 years for these Virginia Pines to grow in this sandy loam soil. The trees that are individually shaped with a special saw have survived drought, floods, hurricane-force winds, and the February winter storm.

"There is a lot of work that’s gone into each one of these crops, we get a lot of people who think we come out, plant them in January, and then harvest that same crop, that end of the year, but it’s a longe- term crop than that," said Nash.

When the harvest for this season is over – planting will start, again. 

Those saplings will be ready for families in 2026.

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