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HATLEY, Miss. (WCBI) – Christmas season is here and many are getting their boxes of tree ornaments and decorations out from the attic. Christmas trees fill homes and businesses. While many of us love the search for a perfect Christmas tree, at one Monroe County farm, a lot of time and effort goes into growing these holiday evergreens.

Thirteen acres of Leyland Cypress and Blue Ice Cedar stand tall at Worthey Christmas tree farm. The thousands of trees planted on the Hatley farm are pampered in order to become the perfect Christmas tree.

“Every tree has to start being shaped and cut when they’re three years old. So we have to shear the trees, basal prune the trees, prune the trees. It’s a lot of work to do that. These trees have probably been sheared six or seven times just to get them to that shape. They strictly don’t grow that way,” said owner, Lowell Worthey.

1,200 new trees are planted on the farm each year. They grow about two feet a year.

“Every tree that’s left from our previous year is just bigger the next year, so nothing is wasted here. If a tree is seven foot tall and it’s left over, it will be nine foot tall the next year,” Worthey said.

Just a few miles up the road, Gray’s Tree Farm had sold Christmas trees for 30 some years. After the Gray family retired, Worthey decided to keep the neighborhood holiday tradition. The Worthey’s first started planting trees in 2007. Four years later they opened for business.

“Everybody tells us how much they appreciate us doing that. It’s fun for us too. You work year round, but then get to see families come out and enjoy the farm, cut trees, run in the trees. It’s just fun to see that,” Worthey said.

Families visit for the fun and for the convenience. After you’ve got your tree picked, they will cut it for you. You can also have the lights strung and the tree flocked for a snowy appearance. Sleigh rides, Santa visits, a petting zoo and gift shop all make for a unique experience.

“We try to make sure we get one that can actually fit in the house and we don’t have to do so much trimming when we get it through the house. I don’t worry about if it has a few little holes here and there, because you make the tree what it is. You take it and decorate it, and you’ll never know if it has any imperfections or not,” said customer, Kevin Powell.

“It’s a fun time of year for everybody,” Worthey said.

Worthey says rain has benefited the trees this year. Trees are available for sale until December 20th. It is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. You can find them at 60025 Worthey Lane.

For more information visit http://www.wortheytreefarm.com/ or call (662) 256-1171.

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