Local tree farm treasure in Carriere
Published 7:00 am Friday, January 2, 2015
The traditional Christmas tree is a staple of the holiday season. Once a year, people bring one inside their home and make it a focal point of their holiday festivities. Recently, the Item got to discover one local family that has made Christmas trees a way of life.
Pearl River County residents Lorenza and Albert Acosta own a Christmas tree farm called The Children’s Christmas Tree Forest, which sits in Carriere within the community of Henleyfield.
The drive to the tree farm is an experience in itself. After navigating through a series of single-lane roads, which cut through isolated forests, the journey opens out to rolling hills and farms in the distance. When you spot a cluster of majestic pine and cypress trees right down the winding road, somehow you know your trek is worthwhile.
The Children’s Christmas Tree Forest has been in the Acosta’s family for almost thirty years. They first purchased the 30-acre land without the intent to raise Christmas trees. But one day, when they visited local Christmas tree farms in the area, the Acosta’s realized they wanted to grow these trees in their own backyard.
From then on, the Acosta’s raised pine trees, which later became mostly Leyland Cypress trees, including several Carolina Blue Sapphires.
“We planted trees everywhere on our land, and took care of them. Albert worked with the tractor, and sprayed them. We both worked constantly to keep them healthy,” Lorenza said.
Albert added, “I worked so much that I lost my hair.” Albert is a three-war veteran, serving in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
With his discipline and exceptional work ethic, Albert, as well as Lorenza, created the Christmas tree farm, which provided trees to the community just in time for the Christmas season.
“Soon enough we had some of the same people coming to get a tree year after year. Then as the years went on, their grown-up kids came to get a tree. We’ve seen generations of families come by and we love it,” Lorenza said.
Throughout the years, they even provided events for children like haystack rides, Easter egg hunts, and pumpkin patches.
While the trees looked perfect and untouched when the Item visited, there was a time when Mother Nature threatened the tree farm. Their son Don Acosta said most Christmas tree farms in the area were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, they were able to save their trees because they had tied them down before the storm came, and thereafter were able to keep running the farm successfully.
Recently, the farm is seeing quieter days as both Lorenza and Albert are elderly, and aren’t able to maintain the farm as well. But Lorenza said there are still plenty of healthy, beautiful trees available, and she’s donating them to whoever is interested. When asked how she felt about owning a farm for almost three decades, Lorenza said, “ I’m happy with all the Christmas trees and memories my husband and I were able to provide to the community.”