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Area Christmas forest a holiday delight

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Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 12:00 pm

At this time of year, Christmas trees are going up in thousands of homes, offices and businesses in and around Bandera County.

In one 10-acre part of the county, thousands of Christmas trees are already up and have been for years.  The Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm is the closest thing to the North Pole Bandera has as a holiday attraction.

In the three days after Thanksgiving, the farm sold about 1,000 trees and had hordes of shoppers out to examine its forest of Christmas trees. Owner Jim Hingst has been helping residents in the San Antonio region get in the Christmas spirit since 1994. “We sold about 200 trees that first year, and this season we will sell about 1,800 trees that we grew on the farm. We get a lot of repeat customers and a lot of new customers each year,” Hingst said.

Pipe Creek is a “Choose & Cut Your Own Tree” Christmas farm as described on the company’s business card. The farm provides a saw and a large measuring stick to customers along with advice on correct cutting methods.

Hingst said that the farm has about 6,000 trees of different sizes and ages growing before the Christmas season starts. About a third of those typically are ready for harvest as the Yuletide icon. He said many families have become attached to the tradition of finding the right Christmas tree at the farm, cutting it down and taking it home to decorate.

Included in the large group of customers attracted to the farm since Thanksgiving was a young family from San Antonio -  Adam Frey, his wife, Alex, and baby, Brodhi.

“This is our second year in a row to come here and cut down our own tree. We like to do this and make it a family Christmas tradition,” Adam Frey said. He said he and his wife have told friends from Medina Lake and Helotes about the tree farm, and they come out to check out the inventory as well.

In addition to drawing families and individuals, the Christmas tree farm hosts groups, including students from area schools, including their teachers and parents.

One group from Carroll Bell Elementary School in the Harlandale Independent School District enjoyed a visit that gave students a peek at how the farm takes its trees from seedlings grown in greenhouses for nine months to more mature trees that can be planted into the ground.

With an irrigation system and additional care from farm workers, the trees can develop in four years into fragrant centerpieces capable of bringing warmth and the Christmas spirit into any home.

The holiday tree farm also has pre-cut, Christmas trees like those available in temporary tree stands around the area in addition to “living Christmas trees” in pots that can be decorated and used for several Christmases.

Hingst first learned about the Christmas tree farm from people at his church who opened the farm in Pipe Creek but later abandoned it.

Hingst purchased the property in 1988, three years before he retired.  He spent three years visiting other Christmas tree farms and learning about the business before opening the farm in 1994.

The farm also serves as a pumpkin patch in the weeks before Halloween.

Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm is open 11 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. daily and is located at 805 Phil’s Road in Pipe Creek.  

For more information, call 210-426-6191 or visit www.pipecreekchristmastrees.com 

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1 comment:

  • Freyae posted at 2:27 pm on Wed, Dec 6, 2017.

    Freyae Posts: 1

    Chuck-

    Great story! Wondering if you could send us the picture you took of our family? It would be greatly appreciated!

    -Adam & Alex Frey

     
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