The Edmond Sun

December 18, 2013

Local businessman grows Christmas trees

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — You don’t have to go far to find Christmas trees from different locations in the U.S. and around the world.

The Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree and Blackberry Farm, located east of Interstate 35 at 7121 Midwest Lane, grows and sells tree species growing in seven fields on 45 acres owned by John Knight.

Customers can choose and harvest Virginia Pine, White Pine, Scotch Pine, Blue Ice, Carolina Sapphire, Leyland Cypress and Austrian Pine. You can select from pre-harvested Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Fraser Fir and Nordman Fir. Or, you can choose live Christmas trees from White Pine, Scotch Pine, Loblolly Pine, Austrian Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Fat Albert, Deadora Cedar and Blue Atlas Cedar.

Saws are available if needed. Knight’s farm also sells wreaths, garland, mantle pieces, door boughs, tree stands, wrapping, disposal bags and preservative. Before trees leave the farm a special machine shakes loose needles and they are drilled to fit on stands and to help properly hydrate.

Knight said sales are a bit down this year, although the farm experienced a couple of record-setting days earlier in the season. A later Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) meant a shorter season, Knight said. In a good year he’ll sell 10,000 trees, he said. Final numbers aren’t in for this year.

But Knight’s not complaining; growing trees are his life’s passion.

“It’s like being on vacation all the time,” Knight said.

Knight’s love for tree farming is, ah, rooted in his family tree. His father, a carpenter, was an amateur arborist. Reading an article on growing trees in arid climates also heightened his interest.

The number of farm hands varies depending on the season, Knight said. Employees are usually University of Central Oklahoma athletes (since many of the trees are heavy) and students from local high schools.  

Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree and Blackberry Farm hours are 1-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information about the farm, call 340-5488. | 341-2121, ext. 108