Artificial Christmas tree shortage has Big Country tree farm ready for holiday season

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CROSS PLAINS, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A shortage in artificial Christmas trees has a Cross Plains tree farm hoping for a boost in business.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, close to 85% of artificial trees are made overseas.

Nationwide shipping issues have put a kink into plenty of people’s holiday gift giving plans, even spanning into the Christmas tree market.

However, real trees are waiting to get decorated right outside of Abilene at Millican’s Heritage Christmas Tree Farm in Cross Plains.

It can be hard to find the small operation, as it’s tucked away down dirt roads and through a tunnel of trees on County Road 420.

But behind a silver mailbox with a black sharpie drawn Christmas tree, you’ll see almost 1,200 Christmas trees waiting to be cut, brought home, and decorated this holiday season.

Co-owner Joan Millican said it was a dream her family has had since a family road trip to East Texas in the early 1980s.

“We made a day of it,” Millican said. “We bought our Christmas tree, we cut it down ourselves, we brought it home, and we decorated it. We just made it a Christmas tree day and it was such a special day to us that we just kept doing it.” 

Its a family tradition that sparked the idea of starting their own Christmas tree farm in West Texas, on 30 acres of inherited land.

“I want you to have a pretty Christmas tree, and we work really hard at that, but that’s not our main goal,” Millican said. “Our main goal is that people would enjoy being together as a family.” 

Now, with a nationwide shortage, co-owner Larry Millican said he believes more families will make the trip for a real tree.

Larry said there’s nothing like bringing your family out to gather a Christmas tree. He said watching the kids run and play, and them watching the trees fall and get loaded up is something they enjoy seeing every year.

“We let daddy be the hero,” Larry said. “As the kids stand off to the side and yell ‘timber’ as the tree falls down.”

Larry and Joan Millican will be opening their Christmas tree farm the day after Thanksgiving. You can find more information, here.

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