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Gretchen Nordling checks a Christmas tree she and her daughter Kali, 11, are buying from the Wenatchee High School FFA at the school Tuesday. "It's the first time we've been able to have a fun tree," she said of its height. Her family recently moved to a house with a tall ceiling. It's the second year for the FFA to put on a tree sale at the school. Proceeds support the group's forestry program. Only 50 trees are available, with sales continuing Dec. 2-4 from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. or until they sell out. The trees were donated by a local provider.

NCW — Even before Thanksgiving, people were looking ahead to Christmas by getting their trees ready.

Monte Bickford of Bickford Farms a little south of Orondo said customers were arriving two weeks ago to tag trees, knowing the supply would be limited if they waited.

He said he’s running low on Nordmann fir, his most popular variety, but there are also Canaan and concolor firs and blue spruce trees on the farm at 71 Coldwater Canyon Road.

Bickford said his Austrian pines are up to 20-feet tall, but most of the trees are in the 4- to 6-foot range.

“They just haven’t grown that far yet,” he said. “The ones I planted six or eight years ago have mostly been cut or tagged for this year to cut.”

Hog Hollow Farm, 100 Mad River Road, Ardenvoir, opens Black Friday and owner Charlie Cooper said he may run out of trees by the end of the weekend.

The farm sells about 10 varieties, he said, including Fraser, balsam, noble, grand and Nordmann firs and blue and Engelmann spruce trees. Trees range from 6 feet to 15 feet.

“We have something called a corkbark fir, which is kind of interesting,” Cooper said. “It’s kind of blue like a blue spruce, but it doesn’t have the really prickly needles like a spruce tree does.”

Visitors take a hay ride up a half-mile road to the farm, where they cut their own trees. While there they can also roast marshmallows and enjoy hot cocoa and candy canes.

“We try to make it a very fun, family event,” Cooper said. “It’s the experience more so than the trees. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years and we have the same people come back year after year.”

The Wenatchee Exchange Club’s annual tree sale opens Saturday at Morris Park, 1117 Cherry St.

Sale coordinator John Stoll said proceeds go to various organizations that request funding, including youth sports, community theater or school booster clubs.

“We’ve got a lot of customers who always come and get their tree from us because they know what the club’s about and want to support it,” he said.

He said the club sells noble and Douglas firs that come from Oregon. They range from 5 feet to 9 feet, with most somewhere in the middle.

“The nobles have been our traditional,” Stoll said. “They’re the fuller trees. It’s what our customers have come to expect over the years.”

Brad Wagner, owner of Wenatchee’s Best Christmas Trees, said he cuts trees from a farm in Arlington every week and unloads them in the old Shopko parking lot at 1052 Springwater Ave. He opened last week and said it was busier than he expected.

He said he used to give Shopko gift cards to Wenatchee and East Wenatchee schools. Now that the store’s closed, he’s trying to work with other businesses to match his donations for students in need.

Wagner said he’s got noble, Nordmann, grand and Douglas firs ranging from 5 feet to 15 feet tall.

“They’re all very different,” he said. “ ... A Nordmann fir doesn’t smell as strong so it’s good for people with tree allergies. ... The grand fir smells the best, but it’s kind of got soft branches. So if you want a lot of ornaments, you want to get a Noble fir. It just really depends on what you want to do with the tree, how you want to decorate it, what you’re looking to get out of it.”

Bridget Mire: 665-1179

mire@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @bridget_mire