For 23 years, people have ventured from near and far to find the perfect Christmas Tree at Dabbs Tree Farm in Saucier.
Visiting the tree farm has become as traditional as the Christmas holidays for some families in the area, but this deep-rooted family business will be shutting down by the end of the year.
"This one's too big. This one's too short. This one's too skinny. This one isn't full enough. This one costs too much," said youngster Taylor Ely.
Finding the perfect Christmas Tree can be a tiresome task, but Taylor Ely and his family eventually snagged not one, but two, perfect trees. Visiting Dabbs Christmas Tree Farm has become a tradition for Taylor's family, but tree hunting was a first for at least one family member, Taylor's 9-week-old sister Haleigh.
Owner Charlie Dabbs has come to know many families at the tree farm over the years.
"We have so many friends. We have people that have been coming out here literally, I started to say generations, that's not right, but they would come, their children would come, now their children are coming," Dabbs said.
While the flow of friends and customers has been steady over the years, the tree crop has dwindled. Dabbs says there were about 3,000 trees before Katrina.
The tree farm reopened in December of 2005 with less than 1,000 trees. This year, there were only 200 trees, and since many are pretagged, there are only a few left for customers. When the last tree is cut down, the tree farm will close for good.
"I lost so many trees. It takes four to six years for them to grow, and I'm no spring chicken anymore, so it's hard now, you know, to do some of the work and four or five years from now, it'd be really difficult. It's a physical type job," Dabbs said.
The tree farm is located on School Road off Highway 67 in Saucier. It's open Thursday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m and is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. It will close December 15.