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Choose and Cut Christmas Trees Help Create Family Traditions

Every year a staple in many people's holiday decorations includes a Christmas tree.

Making the trip to a tree farm and choosing and cutting their own tree is one tradition many families in the Ozarks practice

KSMU's Christy Hendricks takes us to King Tree Farms near Ozark.

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree which one to pick?

That's the question Brian and Deanna Brodwel of Springfield tried to answer during a recent visit to King Tree Farms near Ozark.

When they first arrive they hop on a flat-bed trailer full of hay and take a ride out to the tree field.

It's the first time Brian and Deanna Bordwel have brought their sons ages three and five to pick out a tree for Christmas.

Deanna Bordwel knows exactly what type of tree she's looking for.

So the Bordwel family takes off on their trek to find the perfect tree, crunching over the frozen snow.

And after about five minutes of walking, they find the tree, and Brian Bordwel starts sawing.

The boys, Blane three years old and Easton five years old, are excited about decorating the tree.

Once they get the tree back to the entrance, the Bordwel family watches as their tree is put on a shaker that literally shakes the loose needles out of it.

Roy King, the owner of King Tree Farms, says he would like to see more people in the Ozarks have a similar experience.

He planted his first trees 26 years.

He explains while driving his tractor that it takes about a decade just to start a Christmas tree farm.

He says data from the National Christmas Tree Association shows the number of people buying live Christmas trees increased last year, but so did the number of people buying artificial trees.

King says many people don't like to clean up the needles that real Christmas trees shed in their homes.

Roy King says many people have misconceptions about the safety of live trees.

He says they are not a fire danger if handled properly and if people keep the trees from getting dry.

King raises Scotch pines but says he had about 800 fir trees shipped in from Oregon this year.

Roy King says there aren't many tree farms in the Ozarks because it's hard work year round.

Even though he puts in many hours of work, the 63 year-old accountant who raises trees on the side, says he plans to continue his business and take people for rides out to his tree fields.