Cousins Cale Rohwer, right, and Brian Stoverink, drag a Christmas tree they chopped back to the Buffalo Chip Ranch in Republican City, Neb., Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. The cousins and members of their family braved below-freezing temperatures while on a "1900s Family Christmas Adventure" vacation. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it's time to start thinking about a Christmas tree. With money tight, some are looking for ways to cut costs while starting a new tradition.
Some are planning on doing things the old fashioned way. "We're going out and cut a tree down together with some people I work with and make a day and a lunch out of it," says Fruita resident Joshua Wilson.
It's a tradition that has died off over the years but may be making a comeback. "When I was little we would go out and cut our own tree down. It was a lot of fun, it's a lot better than going to a lot," says Shelly Baier.
In a time when a lot of people are on a budget, it's a great way to save some cash. "The permit is 10 bucks and you can but as many as you want as long as it's for personal use only," says Erin Curtis of the BLM. It's a trend that more and more are starting to pick up. "Sales have gone down over the past few years until last year and they went up quite a bit," says Curtis.
For tree lot owners like Mike Taylor, who's just opening up today, his business depends on people who want a real tree but don't want to work to get it. "We are hoping for the best, times are tough in the Valley but I think our regulars will support us," says Taylor. He is prepared for business as usual and is stocked with plenty of trees in all sizes and price ranges. "They range from 50 to 200 dollars and they start at five feet to about 12 feet," says Taylor.
Taylor knows that no matter how the trend goes, cutting your own tree is not for everyone and the experts agree. "There's definitely a little more work involved but if you look at it as a family affair you can have a good time and a good tree,"
So whether it's a plan to save money, like Wilson, "It's 10 bucks for the permit and a little bit of gas and some food," to start back a tradition that has been lost over the years, "It sounds like more fun to go outside and enjoy each other and enjoy the nature that is around us," or go about business as usual, rest assured there will be plenty of trees to go around. "We have 300 trees on hand and are expecting two to three more truck loads," says Taylor.
Click on the link below for permit rules and maps to areas where you can cut your own tree.