On the Job: O Christmas Tree

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CHUNKY, Miss. (WTOK) - For families around the world, so many cherished holiday memories all start with the Christmas tree. But growing those lovely branches doesn't happen overnight.

"So it takes about 4 to 5 years to get a tree ready for sale," Lazy Acres owner Michael May says. "We start with planting usually in January and February, and we plant about a thousand trees a year."

May's parents started the small farm in 1980. Now in its second generation, he's adding more than a thousand trees each year. The planting process is tedious.

"You want to just slam it in there real hard," he says while gripping manual post hole diggers. "Open them up. Pick up. Dump the dirt. There you go."

After the trees are planted, each one has to be trimmed to the perfect shape.

"When I was growing up here on the farm, my dad taught me, he said, 'You want to make it look like an upside-down ice cream cone," May explains.

I'm nervous to lop off so many branches, but I get the hang of it pretty quickly. It's a process that has to be done each year. All the years of hard work boil down to picking the perfect tree.

"When I wake up, I know there's about a thousand families around this area that have one of our trees, and it's become a tradition for them," May says. "So it's an honor for us to be a part of that many families' Christmas traditions. So if you will do the honor."

With a handsaw and a little bit (lot) of elbow grease, I manage to cut down my own tree.

I bag up my prize and bring it back to show off at the station.

Surprise, WTOK!

Lazy Acres is located at 596 Lazy Acres Road, Chunky, MS 39323. You can call 877-6FARMFUN to learn more about the Christmas trees and other seasonal events.

If you have any suggestions for a career you'd like to see featured "On the Job," email me at candace.barnette@wtok.com.