ENTERPRISE — Fog filled the air with the smell of Christmas trees on the day after Thanksgiving as family vehicles started pulling into the Nuttelman Christmas Tree Farm located just outside Enterprise off K-43 highway.
Al Nuttelman and his family were gassing up the chainsaws for one last season after 31 years in the family business, while Al’s wife, Mary Lou Nuttelman, was answering questions on the phone inside the house. This year was busier than most years as families wanted to arrive early to make sure they could find the perfect Christmas tree.
Al and Mary Lou Nuttelman, along with their son Doug and daughter Jennifer Rein, started the Nuttelman Christmas Tree farm after first planting the Christmas trees in 1984. By 1989, the trees were large enough to start selling.
"It has been a good part-time income, and it helped keep our kids keep busy during the summer," Al said.
Al graduated from Kansas State University in horticulture, as a Kansas State University student he helped manage a Christmas tree farm in Manhattan for the endowment association for three or four years.
Jennifer Rein was 14 and her brother Doug was 12 when the farm first started, and both continued to help out during the holidays on the Christmas tree farm throughout the years. Jennifer and her husband, Rick, currently live in Salina with their son, Alex, who is a sophomore in college. All of the family members were there working together the day after Thanksgiving 2020 to help in the family business.
Several of the families buying the Christmas trees last Friday have been coming for over five years. Lucas and Natalie Bird of Chapman had two generations looking for Christmas trees at the farm.
"The real trees look way better, and the smell of them are great," said Lucas Bird.
Larry and Connie Cooper of Abilene continued their family tradition of coming to the Nuttelman Christmas Tree Farm by bringing their grandchildren, Cooper Schadegg, 8, and Hazel Schadegg, 9. The family walked around, checking out the more than 50 trees that were available this year.
"We had to come out early to make sure we found a good one. I have always had a real tree. We have been coming here every year for at least 10 years," Larry Cooper said.
"We are so sad they are retiring this year after all of these years," Connie Cooper said.