Tree farm offers Christmas cheer

Published 5:19 am Monday, December 1, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
Clark Griswold would have been a lot better off he had gone to Country Pines Tree Farm in Bratt, Fla. instead of trekking out into the forest for the perfect Christmas tree. Plus, his family could have enjoyed the complimentary cider and cookies provided.
Andy Bogdan and his wife, Joan, own Country Pines, a 15-acre Christmas tree farm that has been in business for more than 10 years.
Country Pines offers four varieties of trees including, Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Eastern Red Cedar and next year will have Naylor’s Blue available.
The Bogdans said they did not set out to get into Christmas tree farming when they first moved to their land and were not exactly sure what to do with it.
The Bogdans said more than doing it for the profit, they do it for the fun of it.
Joan Bogdan said she enjoys having children around and seeing them grow up as they come back each year.
Several area schools take field trips to Country Pines to celebrate the holidays. The Bogdans love to see the excitement in the children’s eyes when they step foot on the farm.
Kevin Ford and his girlfriend’s daughter, Lauren Sapp, went out on Wednesday to get a tree in time to decorate during Thanksgiving weekend.
Ford had already been out to the farm to scout out trees, but brought Sapp back to give the final say.
After making the final decision, Sapp declared, “It’s just the right one.”
Ford said he does not usually get a live tree, but wanted something different this year and came to Country Pines for the good prices.
The Bogdans can assist in cutting down the customers tree of choice and hauling it up front to be wrapped or they can do it themselves.
Andy Bogdan said the first trees to go are the Leylands and Sapphires, in particular the larger ones.
The Bogdans said trees cut live will last months with the right amount of water.
Joan Bogdan added keeping trees away from heat sources helps keep them alive and fresh longer. This also will prevent any safety hazards.
Country Pines offers customers cookies, apple juice and candy canes free of charge as they search for the family Christmas tree. The tree farm is located at 5001 Still Road and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until dark. Trees are priced according to size and range from $20 and up.
To get to Country Pines, take Hwy. 21 south toward Pensacola, Fla. Approximately four miles from Atmore, take a left on Hwy. 4 and travel 1.2 miles. Turn right at Still Road and the tree farm is the fifth house on the right.
For more information contact the Bogdans at 327-4700.
Publisher Adam Prestridge contributed to this article.

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