BELLA ESPINOSA, 9, of Gold River, cuts down a Christmas tree using a long-handled saw, assisted by Carson Ridge Evergreens employee Tyler Babb, 17, of Orangevale, as family members Tony, 12; dad, Chris; mom, Kate Espinosa (present but not pictured); and nana, Patricia Hilper, right, look on in Camino on Nov. 29. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene


Families get Christmas trees in lieu of shopping

By From page A1 | December 02, 2013

The day after Thanksgiving means two things: Black Friday, with shoppers descending en masse on stores; and the choosing, cutting and taking home of a Christmas tree.

Greg Fluckey literally sells trees out of his backyard on Poverty Hill Drive, next to Gold Bug Park. “We don’t draw like Apple Hill,” he said of his Poverty Hill Tree Farm, “but this is typically one of the busiest weekends.” He was looking forward to between 20 and 30 customers that day.

No one had yet arrived to claim a tree that day, but the day was still quite young — Darcie Abbott, Greg’s girlfriend, was still putting out wreaths, flower arrangements and other arts and crafts, their first year offering such items.

The tree farm began when the father and son began clearing the land in the early 1960s. Around 1965, they began planting the trees, and they have “worked it ever since,” Greg Fluckey said.

Besides the normal Douglas fir and blue spruce, the farm’s most popular trees, redwoods and cedars are offered. Only about four redwoods are sold each year as Christmas trees at the farm, Fluckey said. Other trees offered include the Norway spruce, the Colorado green and Colorado blue spruces, white fir and the sold-out scotch pine.

Poverty Hill Tree Farm is located at 1010 Poverty Hill Drive in Placerville. It is open Friday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be reached at 530-622-6766.

At the busy Carson Ridge Evergreens tree farm, the Espinosa family was making its yearly stop at the farm to get a tree.

“We’ve been coming since before he was born,” said Chris Espinosa, pointing to his son, Tony, 12. Tony and his sister Bella, 9, had just helped a tree farm cutter fell the tree.

“We really like to come out after Thanksgiving, get a tree and get ready for the holidays,” said Chris’ wife, Kate. “They’ve always been helpful, friendly and make it a great holiday experience,” she said of the tree farm’s staff as the family began the march back to the parking lot to get the Douglas fir into a net and take it home.

Carson Ridge Evergreens offers white fir, Douglas fir and silver tip trees, as well as wreaths and candy canes. It is located at 3041 Carson Road in Placerville. It is open weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be contacted at 530-644-1490.

On down a windy entrance path off of Newtown Road where there was still frost on the ground, another family tradition was taking place. John Reeve, of Rancho Murieta, and five other families — all related — have been going to the Hidden Canyon Tree Farm for 15 years. It started when another family member’s parents’ favorite farm closed and they liked the picnic area and friendly staff.

The families stay together for Thanksgiving and then go out as a group to get trees, they said. Between them, they take back seven trees. As J.T. Wright, 10, of Sacramento, and Trey Carido, 9, of Stockton, helped put trees into nets for transportation, the boys — aided by other young relatives — tied orange and blue ribbons in different combinations to signify whose tree went with which family. They began sorting the trees for the ride home.

Hidden Canyon Tree Farm is located at 3500 Newtown Road in Placerville and offers white and Douglas firs, silver tips, sequoias and cedars, as well as local honey and firewood. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to dark and can be reached at 530-622-6760.

Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or [email protected] Follow @CMayerMtDemo.


Cole Mayer

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