NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Thanksgiving leftovers are in the fridge, and now for many it’s time to find the perfect Christmas tree. WCBS 880’s Deborah Rodriguez paid a visit to one tree farm in Dutchess County.
Families started to flock to Fred Battenfeld’s farm in Red Hook on Route 199 with handsaws at the ready Friday. It’s a tradition that goes back generations.
WCBS 880’s Deborah Rodriguez at Fred’s Farm
“My father sold the first cut-your-own tree and it was a fairly novel industry, in 1956. He sold any tree that somebody cut here for one dollar a tree,” Battenfeld said.
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Cut your own prices are up to $55 a tree on Fred’s farm, with six different varieties to choose from, even though he said it’s become less about the product and more about the event.
“You see tents. You see American flags. You see kettle cookers, touch football, Santa Claus, bag pipers, horse-drawn wagon rides,” he said.
The Battenfelds even had people stay overnight in campers.
As for their own home, his wife Suzanne said there’s not much energy left over “after making everybody else’s Christmas wonderful. When my kids come home it’s sort of like: ‘can we have a big tree?’ and it’s ‘no, you get the smallest tree that I can find’,” she said.