Locals flock to cut-your-own Christmas tree farm

Pederson’s Christmas Tree Farm in West Salem is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The cut-your-own-tree farm may have opened a quarter century ago, but they started planting their first trees more than 30 years ago.

The owners say this weekend is their busiest time of year.

They say families come not only to find a tree, but also to make memories.

Co-owner of the tree farm Bonnie Pederson has always loved Christmas trees.

“I think the Christmas tree is like the focal point in homes. I kind of feel like, once you’ve got the tree, that’s the start of bringing in the Christmas spirit to the home,” Pederson said.

Before they ever opened a tree farm, Pederson and her family would look forward to cutting down their own Christmas tree every year.

“We grew up with our kids doing this and getting our trees at local businesses,” Pederson said.

Three decades ago, the Pedersons decided to start their own tree farm.

“And so when this opportunity came available that we could possibly start our own tree farm, and we really didn’t know how it would work, but it’s obviously worked out very well, and it’s fun,” Pederson said.

Thirty years later, her family is still bonding over Christmas trees.

“We spend a lot of time together these couple of weekends, and it’s a great time, and our grandchildren will sometime, probably, we hope they will enjoy it as much as we all do,” Pederson said.

Her son, Jacob Pederson said, “My wife and my sister-in-law are involved with it, and our kids are growing up and they’re starting to understand what’s going on, and so it’s just a great family tradition.”

Jacob can’t imagine what his life would be like if he didn’t have the tree farm.

“There’s times I remember at a younger age that I wasn’t excited going out working on the tree farm. I’d rather do something with my friends or whatever, but thinking back on it now, I’m glad I had the opportunities that I’ve had,” Jacob said.

At the end of a day, Pederson says they’re not just selling Christmas trees, they’re providing lifelong memories.

“Everybody has their different idea of what a perfect tree is and just being able to select that together with your children or parents, I think that’s a great family memory, tradition,” Pederson said.

If you didn’t have a chance to get your tree yet, you can head out there next weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

Prices for the trees range from $30 to $60.

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