When Henry Nutbrown’s parents wanted to make some extra money to put him and his two siblings through college, they had three choices on their small farm: Breed chinchillas, sell earthworms or grow Christmas trees.
“I’m eternally grateful my mother decided Christmas trees over the earthworms and chinchillas,” Nutbrown said of his family farm’s tradition.
Emmanuel and Mary Nutbrown moved to the Collier Township farm in 1939 from Carnegie to try something different. They planted 100 Scotch pine seedlings in single rows on the small farm in 1958 and continued planting over the next decade before they could sell their first tree.
Unfortunately by then, Henry Nutbrown and his older sister had already graduated college.
“But it was our start into what is a very fun business,” he said. “Generally when you start something like this, it’s thought of as a short-term thing. It just kept going on and on.”
Henry Nutbrown and his wife, Sue, now own the 12-acre farm along McMichael Road that has about 3,500 fir trees in different stages. The business has turned into a family tradition for many area families that like to pick a tree and cut it down themselves.
Nutbrown said he recently saw a little girl “romping through fields just having a great time” while searching for a tree with her parents.
“We get a lot of repeats once they find the farm and enjoy the whole atmosphere, particularly young parents with young children,” Nutbrown said. “It’s a great job.”
The farm, which will be selling trees until Dec. 23, is open weekdays from noon to 7 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. A saw and twine is provided, and workers will help people cut down the trees if needed.
The family’s son Michael, and wife, Leigh, also sell homemade wreaths and quilts on the property during the season.
For more information about the Nutbrown’s Christmas Tree Farm, call 412-787-5048 or go to www.nutbrownschristmastrees.com.