Northern Michigan in Focus: Christmas Tree Farms

The countdown is on to Thanksgiving, but Christmas will be here before we know it and that means getting the tree up!

Incentive to start what might be a new family tradition in this week’s Northern Michigan in Focus.

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas across Northern Michigan, especially at the Jamie Helsel Tree Farms in McBain.

"My dad’s done it and my grandpa did it, so I’m third generation and that’s what I’ve taken pride in and what I love to do," says Jamie.

Jamie certainly has the passion, because this is no easy job. Sure it’s seasonal, but the work starts in the spring.

"I pot in the spring and fall, and once I’m done potting I have to start fertilizing. Then, I have to step new seedlings and everything, then you gotta go from there to spraying. From that, it’s time to prune and you have to prune and shape them. Then you go right into fall after that and it’s time to harvest them,” explains Jamie.

It’s all that TLC that brings us to this — the perfect Christmas tree to help ring in the season.

And it’s not just trees here to deck the halls.

"I do probably a mile and a half of roping a year, and I probably do about, oh, probably 300-400 wreathes," says Jamie.

But the stars here are the trees.

"We have black hill spruce, blue spruce, Norway spruce. We’re going to have some cut trees, pre-cut trees that are Douglas fir, Fraser fir, and balsam fire, and concolor fir, so we will have quite a few varieties," explains Jamie.

Jamie will do the work for you and have pre-cut trees available, but he says choose and cut is really the best option.

"They’re getting the freshest tree possible. Lots of the farms that you see they’re cutting trees, they’ve already been cutting trees for three or four months," says Jamie.

Plus, it’s a great way to start a family tradition.

"It’s just really special to be able to see people out there. It’s really been a special thing to me, because I really love Christmas trees, so it’s fun to see people out there enjoying it and being outside," says Jamie. 

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus