HUNTSVILLE Ala. — It has been a Christmas staple in north Alabama for more than 40 years, but this is your last season to get a Christmas tree or wreath at the Valley Christmas Tree Plantation. The place of holiday traditions is closing.
“I mean when I was a kid I had a garden. I’ve always enjoyed gardening, growing things and managing my own business,” said George Brown, the owner of Valley Christmas Tree Plantation. “But it is a physical labor business.”
The trees have to be trimmed twice a year, the stumps have to be cut, fields have to be prepared.
“You find out at 70 that you can’t do what you did at 30,” he said.
For that reason, it will be closing after this season, after being a holiday tradition in Huntsville for generations of families.
“Back in the 70s when we first started, we gave out little membership cards that gave a ten percent off if they came back. We still get people giving us those cards now,” said Brown
He said they have lasted so long because they aren’t in the business of selling Christmas trees, they sell the family experience.
“I hate that they’re having to close shop, but we’re glad we could come down here one last time,” said Chris Wilson a customer shopping with his wife and son.
George Brown said he’s ready for retirement, ready to enjoy the farm and Christmas.
“Literally from two weeks before Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, we haven’t had a day off in 43 years,” said Brown. “Cause this is what we do.”
The veteran tree buyers know, you better get there early to get the perfect tree. And of course, not just the tree, the experience of finding it.