Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm in Boonville will open for the season on Thanksgiving Day.
About a 25-minute drive from Columbia, the tree farm will be spreading holiday cheer with safety precautions in place.
Using pandemic safety protocols, visitors can wander through the five Christmas tree areas with a saw and sled in tow. They can cut down their own trees and haul them back on the sled.
“People will be spread out, and it’ll be safe for them to get a tree of their choosing,” Harmon said.
Pine trees are priced at $6.50 per foot, and firs are $10 per foot.
Starr Pines also sells wreaths, gifts, apple cider mix, tree stands, Amish candy and ornaments. This year, the special handmade wooden and painted ornament has a Santa on it — wearing a mask.
Masks are also recommended for customers; purchases will take place outside. In previous years, the gifts have been sold inside the barn. This year, they will be outside under tents in the open air.
Starr Pines encourages people to stay home if they have any signs of illness or have been in contact with anyone who has been sick, according to its website.
“In COVID, we’ve had to change like everyone else,” said Wayne Harmon, owner of Starr Pines. “We’re doing this in order to stay open and provide trees for everyone to have a real tree experience.”
Harmon said they are doing everything to ensure safety of employees and customers. The farm has enough space to follow social distancing guidelines. In order to avoid the risk of crowds, Harmon encourages people to visit the farm during the week.
The farm is located at 21298 Pleasant Hill Road in Boonville. It will be open every day from 9 a.m. until dark, from Thanksgiving until Christmas.
Harmon recommends following the directions on the website because GPS maps are not always reliable in finding the farm.
“I would encourage everyone to come and get a fresh tree. They’ll have a great experience coming to the country and being on the farm,” Harmon said.
“They’ll be happy that they got a real tree.”