By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
GREEN THUMB: Bill and Paula Jacobs have enjoyed sharing their holiday traditions with others at the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm.
KELSY LORIN TAYLOR for Owasso Rambler
The Owasso Tree and Berry Farm has offered a unique holiday experience for families since 1981. Visitors have enjoyed choosing Christmas trees, wreaths and decorations on the farm as much as Bill and Paula Jacobs have enjoyed becoming a part of their traditions.
Nearing retirement, the Jacobs hoped to find an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. They both decided that a Christmas tree farm might be just the ticket.
While establishing the farm, the Jacobs wanted to find a tree that would be the best fit for the area. “Anytime you plant a tree in its native habitat, it is easier to grow and it grows in its best conditions. The Virginia Pine is a fast growing tree that will be large enough to cut in five years.”
This season, Leyland Cypress will be available in the field, adds Bill. “The Leyland Cypress is a hybrid tree that is non-allergenic since it does not produce a bloom or fruit.”
Right before the holidays begin, the trees will be available for tagging. After visitors find the perfect one, a ribbon labeled with their name is wrapped around the tree. Trees remain in the ground until just before Christmas. Tagging will be available the first two weekends before Thanksgiving.
Along with the Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress, a variety of precut trees are available at the farm including: Fraser, Noble, Grand, Douglas and Nordman Firs.
This year, the Jacobs visited farms in North Carolina to find the best quality trees that are available. When the trees arrive, they are placed in a barn where it is moist and cool.
The secret to a fresh tree, Bill says, is a fresh cut on the bottom. “When a tree is cut, pitch naturally seals the pores. This protects the tree from drying. If a cut is made above the seal, the tree will drink up to one quart of water, per day, per inch of diameter.”
The charming cabin on the farm displays a large variety of holiday decorations and plenty of ornaments to adorn Christmas trees. One of the most popular items is the old world Santa notes Bill. “We also have a handmade wooden ornament that have deer, angels and nativity scenes cut into the wood.”
Hot apple cider and a warm fireplace invite visitors to linger through the unique holiday gifts in the cabin. Two Christmas trees in the center of the cabin display the variety of ornaments for sale. Kids enjoy petting Lucky, the Jacobs’ four-year old golden retriever, when he comes in to warm by the fire.
A variety of greenery is brought in from Oregon and the Jacobs enjoy decorating them when they arrive.
Wreaths are carefully flocked with snow and a variety of bows and ornaments are nestled into the greenery. There are eight sizes to choose from including large 38-inch wreaths.
Visitors have the opportunity to cut their own tree and many enjoy pulling their tree out of the fields. Of course, if visitors prefer, trees can be cut down for them and taken out of the fields on a hayride.
The Jacobs have incorporated many of their own holiday traditions into the farm. Bill loves to see young families create the same memories that he has of growing up. “When I was young, my family always went out to the field and cut an old cedar tree for Christmas. It was a very special thing that we did together.”
Once the trees are brought in from the field, they are shaken clean of loose needles. Tress are then netted and drilled for stands. Each tree is loaded and securely tied for the ride home.
The Jacobs believe that trees should have a purpose even when the holidays are over. Many of the trees are returned to the farm explains Bill. “ Fisherman come by and take the trees to ponds and lakes where they are placed in the water. The trees create habitat for fish.”
After the holidays, Paula uses the trees to create winter habitat for birds. “I always take a few of the trees and make a semicircle with them around our birdfeeder. The birds will come and sit in the trees all day long.”
The Owasso Tree and Berry Farm is located at 11039 N. 129th E. Ave. For more information, visit www.owassotreefarm.com, call (918) 272-9445 or email email@example.com.