HASTINGS — If you want to cut your own Christmas tree, you can head to the Pine Patch Tree Farm in Hastings.

And if you want one that smells most like a Christmas tree, choose a Fraser fir.

Those are the ones that have the best scent, said Dave Glass, who owns the tree farm with his wife, Nytha.

Scotch pines, white pines and Canaan trees grow at the Pine Patch Tree Farm. Glass brings in pre-cut Fraser and Douglas firs from Michigan. The growing conditions are better in Michigan, he said.

If customers want a tree that’s still growing, they just have to pick one out. Someone will show up to help. Customers can cut the tree themselves, or a tree “wrangler” will do the job. Afterward, the wrangler will straighten the cut with an electric chainsaw, “so it fits well in the stand,” Glass said.

The wrangler will shake the tree to remove the loose needles, run it through a netter to make it easier to carry, and load it onto the car or pickup, he said.

The usual price of a tree is $8 a foot. Some of the trees cost more because it takes longer to grow them.

The business sells wreaths as well as trees.

Glass has owned Pine Patch for 14 years. The farm, which was started by Chuck Stonecipher, is at 26th and Elm.

“We do other things besides Christmas trees,” Glass said. The sale of Christmas trees typically runs three weekends, beginning on Thanksgiving.

Most years, the season would be over by now.

But weather issues hampered recent weekends, so Pine Patch will still be open this weekend.

Because of health problems in the family, Glass’ schedule is uncertain the next few days. So if you’re interested, call first. The number is (402) 463-6500. The website is pinepatchtreefarm.com.

Pine Patch usually sells out its supply of trees each year.

“Last spring, we planted another 600 Christmas tree transplants to replace what we cut down this Christmas,” says the Pine Patch website. “In about 7 years, they will be ready to go. As you can see, we are committed to being here for a long time.”

Another tree farm, Katalari Farms, is located east of Loup City. Operated by Larry and Kathy Mostek, it closes Dec. 22. For information, call (308) 745-0938 or visit www.katalarifarms.com.

Another farm, Hardin’s Christmas Trees, is in Buffalo County.

“We’re all friends. We’re all in the association together,” Glass said, referring to the Nebraska Christmas Tree Growers Association.

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I am the Cops & Courts Reporter for the Grand Island Independent. I welcome news tips!

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