November 28, 2012 - The hunt is on - not for the perfect present - but the perfect Christmas tree to decorate and gather around for the holidays.
Drew Fries and the rest of the guys carry a tree to an SUV. (click for larger version)
Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes can be found at Rattalee Lake Tree Farm, located at Rattalee Lake and Reese Roads.
New owner Mike Lorimer and his sons are happy to help families find their perfect tree. He had a smile on his face as he watched vehicles being loaded with Christmas trees and leaving the lot.
"It's about family tradition," he said about selling Christmas trees. "The start of Christmas and getting the spirit of Christmas started. We are in the Christmas business. It's smiles, fun and family."
The Lorimer family bought the property fall 2011 when the previous owners, the Hudlers were selling it.
Lorimer found out about the property because he was interested in the house. Then, he found out it came with 7,000 trees in the backyard.
"I build houses. I fix houses," he said. "What am I going to do with 7,000 trees out there?"
Dale Hudler said it was easy and showed Lorimer and his sons how to be tree farmers.
He added a tree farm is a great place to get started for the holiday season. His family kicked off the Christmas holiday on Thanksgiving by setting up their Norway Spruce and decorating it.
"A tree farm offers a fresh tree," Lorimer explained. "Being fresh meaning they cut it down it won't lose it's needles when taking it in the house."
Each tree has a different characteristic. Fir trees are soft and they hold their needles the longest. Spruce trees have stronger branches and will hold heavier ornaments. White spruce trees have a short needle and a bluish green tint to them.
Lorimer noted the Scotch Pine has been long considered Michigan's classic Christmas tree.
"It is less popular today than they once were but the shape and texture of a Scotch Pine are what many consider what a Christmas is."
Rattalee Lake Tree Farm sells Christmas trees with roots. When people are done using them for the Christmas season they can plant them in their yard.
"Not only do I get to work with my family on the farm but what we are doing is growing trees families will create memories around," said Lorimer. "It is just wonderful. I truly love being outdoors with the trees and working on the farm."
Before visiting the tree farm know the size of the room you want to put the tree in, the height of the ceiling, measurement of doors and check how the furniture will layout.
Lorimer said most importantly dress for the weather.
Tree prices start at $45 and go up to $195. They also have ready to decorate wreaths and tree stands. Rattalee Lake Tree Farm is open on weekends 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Dec. 16. Appointments can be scheduled during the weekdays.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 248-620-2973.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.