The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

December 2, 2012

Christmas tree tradition continues in Ashtabula County

Three area farms have been selling trees for a combined 160 years

Choosing a Christmas tree is a tradition often passed on from generation to generation and Ashtabula County growers have grown that tradition for decades.

Three area farms have been selling trees for a combined 160 years. Many other area farms are building their own traditions while making Christmas bright for customers near and far.

That’s a lot of tradition.

“It’s been in our family since 1948,” said Daisy Asmus, manager of Sarna’s Tree Farm in Jefferson.

Don Sarna has been working the farm for more than 65 years.

“I enjoy the kids from two to 83. They are all kids when they go out and start going through the field,” he said.

Manners Tree Farm has been selling trees for 51 years and estimates 90 percent of their business is from outside the county.

“The whole place is just about tradition. You can get a Christmas tree anywhere. We are not selling Christmas trees. We’re selling tradition,” said Kevin Lemons who owns the farm with his wife Ruth Manners.

Passing on the tradition is a right of passage for many children who bring their kids back to Ashtabula County.

“A lot of times you are getting three generations. They will pull in, in three or four cars,” Lemons said.

Aaron Brandt of Mentor confirmed that while carrying a tree back to his car. “I’ve been coming out here with my dad since I was very young,” he said.

Sarna estimates 50 percent of the Sarna’s Tree Farm business is from outside the county. “It brings a lot of tourists,” he said of people who not only buy a tree, but will stop for a meal or enjoy a shopping trip.

Warm weather early in the Christmas tree shopping season can be a mixed blessing as some people want snow-covered ground for their tree-cutting experience.

Asmus said most people get their trees by mid-December.  “With Thanksgiving being early it’s a long season (this year),” she said.

Different farms specialize in different kinds of trees and try to tailor their farms to make a unique experience for the customer.

Asmus said Sarna’s has a unique con-color fir that has a unique citrus smell. She said they also make wreaths and other holiday decorations fresh every day.

Some people use different farms while others lock on to one particular place and return year after year.

“This is the place we come most often,” said Micki Grego of Parkman after getting help from the staff at Henson’s Hideaway in Lenox Township.

“It’s the horse and the wagon ride (that) makes the experience,” she said.

The tradition of warm weather versus snow for tree shopping goes customer to customer, according to area growers.

“It is kind of a 50-50 thing. We get the people trying to beat the muck and then we have folks who wait until the last minute for some snow,” said Doug White, manager of Henson’s Hideaway.

“We’ve been coming here (Henson’s Hideaway) for four years. We just love the experience. I got to drive the horses (on the horse-drawn wagon),” said Katie Jesse of Rock Creek.

Ruth Manners said the nice weather motivates some people to get out early and buy their trees, especially if they come from long distances.

Manners said Rod Beals grew up down the street from the Dodgeville Road farm in New Lyme Township and has been helping sell trees at the farm for 40 years.

“For them (customers from Cleveland and its suburbs) it’s a day in the country. It’s a family tradition. It’s a day planned,” she said.

Lemons married into the tradition, but has bought in big time.

“You don’t see family togetherness like this too often. Maybe at a wedding and Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Lemons said.


Text Only
Local News
  • james wyman.jpg BEAT OF HIS OWN DRUM Lakeside graduate is right at home as timpanist with Baltimore Symphony Symphony

    It was a Tuesday morning in Baltimore not unlike many days here in Ashtabula County this past winter. The weather was the story of the day. Talk of wind chill, snow advisories and reports of delays and cancellations filled the topic of conversation in this East Coast city.
    James Wyman, however was still able to get to work though. Well, kind of, that is.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • db monday Sunrise Service.jpg Local churches celebrate at sunrise

    People of all ages gathered at Oakdale Cemetery at the break of dawn Sunday to celebrate at Easter sunrise service.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • monday APL pic.jpg Donate-to-win will aid shelter

    The Ashtabula County Animal Protective League reports that it started 2013 nearly $60,000 in debt, but finished the year “in the black by nearly $10,000” and reduced expenses by roughly $5,000.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Madison man dies in motorcycle crash

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol Chardon Post is investigating a fatal accident between a car and a motorcycle that collided Saturday morning.
    Lee E. Mullins, 57, of Madison was traveling southbound on State Route 528, on a 2000 Suzuki motorcycle, approaching the intersection of St. Rt. 86, when a 2008 Ford Taurus driven by 36-year-old Kimberly J. Baney of Wampum, Pa. failed to yield at the stop sign entering the intersection.

    April 21, 2014

  • Spring is a time of renewal

    Spring is a time of renewal. A time for the ground to warm and the bulbs to bloom. Trees clothe themselves with a new coat of leaves.

    April 21, 2014

  • wd sunday race 1 .jpg Mad Hatters tradition continues with Metroparks

    Mexican sombreros, large cardboard cars and multi-colored hats were just a few of the unique headgear possibilities used by the more than 200 participants in the Grand River Canoe and Kayak Race on Saturday morning.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • wd sunday lakegg 12 .jpg Lake Shore Park Easter egg hunt draws hundreds

    Eight thousand eggs littered a portion of the parking lot at Lake Shore Park on Saturday afternoon as hundreds of children lined up to take their run at a full container of candy.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • wd sunday eggstrava 4 .jpg ADDA brings Easter fun to Ashtabula area children

    Children took advantage of the opportunity to hang out with the Easter bunny and have their faces painted on Saturday afternoon at Lance Cpl. Kevin M. Cornelius Park.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_7651.jpg School property could be given to N. Kingsville

    When North Kingsville Elementary School becomes a memory this summer, the property could be reborn as a village park, officials said.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • wd saturday drug raid 2 .jpg Good Friday raid nets drugs, dogs and money in Ashtabula

    It was not a “Good Friday” for two West 38th Street residents.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday