Beneath the stands of Faurot Field, a fake forest sprang up. The smell was so intensely fresh and the colors were so many shades of green that a squirrel might mistake it for the real thing.
Needles crunched underfoot as customers wove through the makeshift stand of pines at the MU Forestry Club’s Christmas tree sale, which ended Sunday.
Each tree had a personality. Some had crooked spines; others were straight as flag poles. Some had branches close together, giving a sense of huddled warmth and coziness; others had branches outstretched like the arms of a diva thanking her audience.
With the hood of his jacket pulled up against the chill, senior forestry major Chris Lohmann greeted customers Friday with a warm smile, offering to help them find a tree that met their expectations. Lohmann had stipulations of his own: “It’s full, but not too full; it has to be symmetrical and not too heavy so it’s not a pain in the butt to haul it around.”
The forestry club grew some of the trees and bought others from area growers, Lohmann said. The annual sale raises money for scholarships and club activities.
Lohmann, who has worked the sale since he was a freshman, said the club typically sells about 250 trees, which range from 4 feet tall to a little over 10 feet. Wreaths and greens were also available.
Shortly before noon Friday, Pam Lucas found the right tree — a 6 1/2 foot Scots pine. Lucas, who works in the College of Veterinary Medicine, said her favorite ornaments are ones her two teenagers made when they were younger.
“I also have things from when I was little that I made,” she said. “Both of my parents are deceased, so that’s pretty special.”