The Tree Man

By: Robert Borrelli
By: Robert Borrelli

Earl Brown lives 220 miles away from Mishawaka.

He knows the exact distance because he drives it quite often.

You see, Earl has sold Christmas trees from the same spot for many years. He says, “There's nothing easy about raising Christmas trees."

He should know.

Unloading a thousand trees with the help of his employee Jose,
he describes how he got into growing and selling Christmas trees
in Lake City, Michigan near Cadillac. "I wanted to live where I wanted to live, you know, in that area. And it's basically was big into Christmas trees and I just kinda fell into it, really."

It is a cyclical business, one that requires extreme patience, and waiting anywhere from 10-15 years before cutting the trees and bringing them to places like Town and Country Shopping center in Mishawaka. “Well, we've been in the business 33 years," Earl explains. "We raise eight different varieties."

Fir, Pine and Spruce are the most notable trees that hold a lot of memories for those who buy them.

It is a business that definitely picks up after thanksgiving,
as we quickly prepare for the next holiday.

It is a type of work that has really grown on Earl, even though he is allergic to the smell of the Douglas Fir.

Earl says he has learned a lot over the years selling Christmas trees and one of the more practical things.

How to get that very sticky sap off your hands!

Earl says use WD-40.

It cuts right through it.

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