Nov 18, 2012 9:43 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Local tree farm gets head start on holiday rush

The holidays are upon us and it has many busy with preparations for Thanksgiving gatherings. In fact, some are already looking ahead to the next celebration.

There aren't many tree farms still around where customers can cut down his or her own tree. But the family at Hidden Springs Tree Farm has been through enough of these holiday seasons to know how to beat the rush.

"Now that we got this rain and it's starting to cool off and all the trees are starting to turn colors it's starting to really feel like Christmas," Fred Frank, owner, said.

No one can sense the holiday season approaching better than Fred, who started the tree farm with his father when he graduated college.

Now, his kids and grandchildren have planted roots in these ten acres in Atascadero.

"We went for quite a few years without making any money," Frank said. "It was kind of a labor of love because we figured if we hung in long enough we'd prevail."

But around this time every year at Hidden Springs, you'll find something special in the air.

Christmas tree season officially starts the day after Thanksgiving, which makes this week one of the busiest of the year for a tree farm.

"We're cleaning up and getting this organized," Auraly Dobbs, Fred's daughter, said.

She's been spending the week gathering all the supplies needed for the upcoming month and a half of tree sales-- which include gallons of apple cider.

Auraly grew up working on the farm, which makes her an expert on wreath making, bow tying and task managing. She will also inherit the place from her father.

She has all hands on deck from three generations of Christmas tree growers.

"There will be mad rushes and everybody racing around," she said.

This family's prep time is as much a seasonal tradition as the trees are for thousands of families in the area.

We all have ways of ringing in the holidays. This one just starts a few weeks early.

The Frank family at Hidden Springs is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Their opening day is the day after Thanksgiving.



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