Newcomers have joined the Christmas tree profession in Skagit County — a seasonal business that lasts just a few weeks each year.
Laue’s Christmas Tree Farm in Sedro-Woolley has opened for its first season, while longtime business Big Lake Trees is under new ownership. Both farms offer cut-your-own trees.
Despite recent flooding and rainy weather, both farms say business has been steady.
Anne Laue, who started Laue’s Christmas Tree Farm with her husband Michael, said their Christmas tree fields filled with water after the Skagit River flooded.
The waters receded to allow the farm to host a grand opening last Saturday.
“We were pretty happy with our sales last weekend considering everything,” Anne Laue said. “It was a horrible day Sunday as far as weather went, and we still had a lot of people come out.”
Laue, who was a teacher in the Sedro-Woolley School District for 30 years, said a friend suggested seven years ago that she and her husband plant Christmas trees in an empty field on their 14-acre property.
“I really liked the idea, primarily from an environmental standpoint,” Laue said.
She said she initially didn’t want to sell the trees she had worked so hard to grow, but decided the trees needed thinning out.
“We went ahead with the Christmas tree farm idea,” she said.
The first trees are now ready for harvest six years after they were planted. Laue’s Christmas Tree Farm plans to remain open Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 19.
Guests can also visit the farm’s gift shop, which is housed in a former railroad workers cabin built in 1932.
Anne Laue said there are also plans to use the farm as an event venue.
It’s also the first season of Christmas tree sales for Adam and Hollie Del Vecchio, who purchased Big Lake Trees last spring.
“We had been looking for some kind of family business or venture that really suited both of us,” Hollie Del Vecchio said. “Taking care of trees is right up his alley, and I love Christmas.”
Del Vecchio said Big Lake Trees will be open for just two weekends, instead of its usual three, because of last year’s busy sales season. She said the goal is to ensure there are enough trees for next year.
She said longtime customers of Big Lake Trees have brought their grandkids to the farm, and younger people have come to chop down their own trees, too.
“We love it,” Del Vecchio said. “We have two little kids, a 7-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, and they are just having a blast, helping people pick out trees and giving them candy canes and hot cider.”
Big Lake Trees will be open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then close for the season.