Michigan Christmas Trees Are A 13-Year Coast Tradition - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/04/03

Michigan Christmas Trees Are A 13-Year Coast Tradition

When the big guy looms over Eisenhower Drive in Biloxi, that means the holiday season is here, and Al's Christmas Trees are for sale.

"We got frasier fir, douglas fir, scotch pine, black hill spruce and blue spruce," said owner Allen Helsel.

These beauties help to make our homes look a lot more like Christmas, and they have for last 13 years - courtesy of a 600 acre tree farm in Michigan.

"This stuff here, when it was cut it was cut in the snow. Michigan is notorious for it , so they're gonna be really fresh.Your average Christmas tree that's out on this lot is between 8 and 14 years old. It's a full-time job. We employ between 15 and 20 guys on our farm throughout the year. As far as the trimming the fertilizing, and getting land ready and all that. It's a full-time farming job. That's what it is," said Helsel.

The hard work of Allen and his crew have definitely paid off.

They are shown "southern hospitality" through the loyalty of some residents.

Vicki Cook has been a faithful customer since he set up his business on the beach 13 years ago. So there is no question that every year she will return to get her flocked fir tree.

"I just like his service. He's really sweet. He's a good guy. When you got good guys, good customer's come back," said Cook.

And it's the good customers that keeps Al's Christmas Trees growing.

Al's Christmas Trees is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the trees will be available through December 20.

By Karla Redditte

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