The clock is ticking for people who want a locally grown, fresh Christmas tree. Bennington Pines, one of a few metro area Christmas tree farms closes this weekend.
The warm days this week have meant for sun-soaked wagon rides out to the tree fields. It's is part of the tradition newlyweds Andrew and Kristin Davis are establishing for their holidays.
"Real trees are nicer, they smell better. Have a good feel to 'em," Andrew Davis says.
Kermit Engh runs the farm. He started Bennington Pines among the corn and soybeans of Nebraska as a country refuge from his busy city day job in 1994. For two decades now, he's been on a time table three to six years ahead of of the rest of us.
"We would sell these in probably 2017 that would give them a chance to get up to 7-9 feet," he says, pointing to a roped off robust section of blue needles firs. Out in the field, some years are better than others. Drought from a couple years back wiped out some trees, leaving some pines looking like the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
Several local sellers have retired or gotten out of the business and the soil is hard and they have to bring in some tree varieties out of Colorado to keep up with demand. There's competition from big box stores.
For Engh, it's about the tradition and the memories that will come for families like the Davis's, hopefully to fill an album as fat at their tree.