Pennsylvania ranks third nationally as a grower of Christmas trees, according to the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association. And the Chester County versions of this agribusiness play a major role in that distinction, writes J.F. Pirro for Main Line Today.
While many tree farms closed across the state in the past several decades, Landenberg’s Ellis Schmidt is still rooted deeply in the seasonal live-tree industry.
His knowledge of the art vaulted him to a four-year presidency (1988-1992) of the state Christmas tree association.
Schmidt planted 2,500 new trees earlier this year on his 60-acre farm.
“I like to do it,” he said. “I planned on planting until I was 72, which meant we’d be cutting those trees until I was 80. Now I’m 88 and still planting — so you see how good that plan has done.”
Meanwhile, at Old Stone Farm in Lewisville, Mark and Mary Gruber have been growing Christmas trees since 1992. Sales have been so good over the years that the two were able to pay for their three children’s college educations. And steady demand keeps the farm growing.
“We’re expanding because other people are getting smaller or getting out,” said Mark.
Read more about Christmas tree farms in Main Line Today.