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'It's a labor of love' | Southeast Texas Christmas tree farm owner keeps prices down by planning ahead

By growing his own trees, one Southeast Texas farmer has been able to avoid having to increase his prices.

HAMSHIRE, Texas — Nationally, Christmas tree prices have soared due to issues such as transportation and weather. However, staying local just might help Southeast Texans save money this holiday season.

Gabe Urbina is the owner of M$M Christmas Tree Farm located at 13602 Powers Road in Hamshire. Urbina said while has had to slightly increase the prices on his big trees, he's been able to keep prices on his other trees the same.

“It's a labor of love, you know, 11 months out of the year," Urbina said.

Urbina and his family have planted 1,000 Christmas trees on the 10-acre farm every year since 2016. By growing his own trees, Urbina said he has been able to keep prices relatively cheaper than other stores.

The hard work is rewarded by seeing families cut down trees to take home during the holiday seasons, Urbina said.

“This is a new season,” Urbina said. “This is a season of joy and happiness, and we like to start everybody's Christmas out with an experience that they're going to remember.”

Since Urbina grows his own trees, he does not have to rely as heavily on other growers to supply his farm, he said. This season, Urbina has about 600 trees for sale. The farm owner already has a backup plan ready just in case he begins to run out.

“I'm going to start contacting the major growers and see if we can get more in here,” Urbina said. “It's the only way I can grow so many, and then we have to shut down. If we're going to allow more people to have the experience, then we're going to have to bring some in.”

The upcoming weekends are two of Urbina’s busiest times at the farm, he said. Families have already started showing up to pick out the perfect Christmas tree.

“First time to come and actually cut down a Christmas tree,” Paige Drewett, Port Neches resident said. “We are so excited to experience it on this Thanksgiving weekend with my boys and husband.”

Drewett and her family went out to Urbina’s farm a few weeks ago to take pictures. For her, it is nice to return to a sense of normalcy and enjoy the farm after the kind of year the pandemic brought.

“There's nothing like being out here and smelling the Christmas tree smell, and we love it, and we'll definitely be back,” Drewett said.

To Urbina, seeing families like Drewett’s enjoy themselves at the farm is what the Christmas season is all about.

“You understand that what you're doing actually affects people's lives in a positive way,” Urbina said.

Oh my!!!! It’s almost time for M&M Christmas Tree Farm to open 🎄🥳🥳

Posted by M & M Christmas Tree Farm on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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