Students at Stepping Stone Montessori School in Sumner don’t often go on field trips during the winter season, so a visit to the Snowshoe Evergreen U-Cut and Choose Christmas Tree Farm on Thursday was a special treat.
“This is a great opportunity to come out into our community,” said Jody Bosmans, the director of the school.
Last Thursday, the entire kindergarten class visited Snowshoe Evergreen and learned from Kristi Scholz-O’Leary all about how a Christmas tree grows and also how to determine the age of a tree by counting the rings on its stump. Scholz-O’Leary explained that a Christmas tree grows one foot per year.
“It’s all about getting them interested in learning about trees and building upon a foundation of what they already know,” Scholz-O’Leary said. “A tree is just like us. It takes in minerals and water just like we do.”
Scholz-O’Leary showed the students trees that were four to six-feet tall, about their same age but much taller. After a storytime about Christmas trees students worked on a Christmas tree-oriented art project decorating a Christmas tree stump before embarking on a tour of the 55-acre tree farm.
Scholz-O’Leary manages the U-Cut farm along with her husband Jerome O’Leary under her parents, Ken and JoAnn Scholz, who own the entire operation that includes the U-Cut farm and also a nursery and wholesale operation.
When asked about the number of trees that Snowshoe Evergreen sells in its wholesale and nursery business, Ken Scholz said it’s about 20,000 to 30,000 trees per year but he is quick to say that the numbers don’t matter.
“We’re not selling a tree,” Scholz said. “We’re selling an experience.”
Showshoe Evergreen’s U-Cut and Choose tree farm started 30 years ago. The nursery and wholesale side of the operation has been going on for 40 years. Across U-Cut, nursery and wholesale, Scholz said there are several hundred acres of farmland with 1,200 trees to an acre.
The U-Cut tree farm is located at 10716 State Route 162 East, Puyallup, 98374. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The tree farm will be open through Dec. 16. Four varieties of trees are available comprising Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Grand Fir and Douglas Fir. For more information, call 253-845-5199.
Read the full story in the Dec. 12 edition of the Puyallup Herald.
Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.