June 29

Tis The Season

By Jim Garrot

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 30, 2007 at 9:10 PM CDT

With the heat and humidity Central Illinois has experienced lately, it's hard to think about decking the halls and trimming the tree.

But at a local evergreen farm, June 'tis the season to prepare for Christmas.

David Hoover works up a sweat shearing evergreens on his Trivoli Christmas tree farm, laboring in the heat all for the sake of the holidays. "It's hot. And a lot of people don't see what goes into it...Hard work. I would compare it to bailing hay or detassling corn. It's just one of those summer jobs in the country," said Hoover.

June is the best month for shearing the trees to make sure they're in tip–top shape. "You basically remove half the growth because if you don't, it gets so big so fast and it wouldn't be a good Christmas tree," said Hoover.

Like Santa's wife, Mrs. Hoover is close by mowing, helping to make sure this central Illinois workshop–of–sorts puts out good products. "It keeps it nice. It looks nice. It keeps the little rodents from getting in around the tree," said Kelley Hoover.

The average tree takes seven years to grow and with 7–thousand on this farm, the Hoovers get to spread Christmas cheer to countless area families. "I think of it as a tradition. You come out, bring the family out, and it's something the kids will always remember," said Hoover.

"It feels really good that we can be a part of their tradition." said Keeley.

And although Christmas is six months away, the Hoovers say all of this work will pay off...bringing in the green on these evergreens and sharing holiday joy beyond their family.

The Ol' Dairy Barn Christmas Tree Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving.

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