A farm tractor pulled a wagon full of anxious Christmas tree hunters to a spot where there are plenty to choose from-- Tester's Christmas Tree Farm in Barton. "We decided this year we'd come pick one out," Kyle Sipples explained.
"They love to get their tree and we love to have them come," Christmas Tree Farmer Bill Tester said.
For many years, families have kicked off the holiday season here-- choosing and cutting the perfect Christmas tree.
"It's kind of like the right size to me," said Henry Sipples, 5. "And like, it's like, not too wide."
Just right for Henry. And most Christmas tree shoppers should have similar luck this year, whether they choose and cut or buy a Vermont Christmas tree at a lot.
Tester says the trees look terrific.
"This has been a great season for us," Tester said. "They have great color... They're healthy and a good year to buy a Christmas tree especially from Vermont."
Tester says the reason Vermont Christmas trees look so good this year is because of all the rain we got over the summer. The wet weather made trees grow faster and fill out nicely.
There are several varieties of Christmas trees.
Two of the most popular in Vermont are balsams and Frasers.
Balsams are more aromatic. Frasers hold their needles longer and have a silvery green tint, but typically cost more.
Whichever you choose look for good color and needles that don't fall off.
"We wait as long as we can to start cutting so they are fresh," Tester said.
Ask when your tree was harvested before you buy it and after you get it home, trim the bottom again so your tree continues to drink.
"Once you cut that tree it will heal up in 30 minutes," Tester explains. "So you want a fresh cut just before you put it in the stand and keep the water going to it."
Tester expects he and the state's other 250 tree farmers should fare well this year. Demand for Vermont trees is up.
"Trucks are coming and going. People are coming and going. The phones are ringing off the wall and some days you feel like putting a pillow over your head because it's so busy, but yeah, I love it. It's why we do it," Tester said.
A labor of love that brings joy to so many families.
"We definitely want to do it again next year," Kyle Sipples said.
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:51 AM EST2013-12-07 12:51:22 GMT
South Burlington police say a shoplifter tried to hide her drugs by swallowing them at the police station. Police arrested Diana Matt Friday night at the University Mall Kohl's for allegedly stealingMore >>
South Burlington police say a shoplifter tried to hide her drugs by swallowing them at the police station.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:49 AM EST2013-12-07 12:49:56 GMT
Police in Brattleboro are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night. Police say, just after 7 p.m., the car struck the man at Western Avenue and Union Street and thenMore >>
Police in Brattleboro are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:16 PM EST2013-12-07 04:16:55 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:03 PM EST2013-12-07 03:03:22 GMT
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank and there was no drive-through lane.The car jumped the curb in front of the Berkshire Bank Friday morning, taking out a railing and getting hung up on the front steps.More >>
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank -- and there was no drive-through lane. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:01 PM EST2013-12-07 03:01:17 GMT
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.Cold Hollow in Waterbury is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions.More >>
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:00 PM EST2013-12-07 03:00:14 GMT
Police in Burlington say they've caught an armed robber.Investigators arrested Tyran Sprauve, 19, Friday afternoon for assault and robbery. Police say last month he and two other men broke into a homeMore >>
Police in Burlington say they've caught an armed robber.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:59 PM EST2013-12-07 02:59:17 GMT
A Claremont, New Hampshire couple is behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting two children under the age of five.Police say 25-year-old Kevin Blood and his 25-year-old wife, Ashley, were arrestedMore >>
A Claremont, New Hampshire couple is behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting two children under the age of five.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:40 PM EST2013-12-07 02:40:47 GMT
College students at St. Mike's have some strong words for Vermont's Senators. The groups of young people are part of a national organization known as the Student Global AIDS Campaign. Friday they marchedMore >>
Leahy spokesman says students mininformed on Senator's record.More >>