Around the Region: Making Memories at Oakland Tree Farm
Some people know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Phil Adams has always been one of those guys. Back in fifth grade, he knew he wanted to be a forester. What he and his future wife Kim didn’t know was that they’d someday own a tree farm that would become an annual holiday tradition for thousands of families.
You see, Phil and Kim Adams own Oakland Tree Farm (oaklandtreefarm.com), a u-cut Christmas tree mainstay outside Oakland, Oregon.
“We’ve been in business for 25 years,” Kim said as we sat down with her to discuss the family business. “This is our busy time of the year. We’ll open the day after Thanksgiving and keep running up until Christmas.”
When we met with them to talk about the farm, her business partner, husband, and lifelong friend was out working his full-time job at Roseburg Forestry Products.
“We joke that the tree farm is his hobby gone mad,” she added with a laugh. “He’s always wanted to be in forestry, his dedication to this place proves it.”
Before the Adams family owned the farm, another family started it 20 years before.
“The Lee family were homesteaders in the area. This was an orchard at one time, but they turned it into a Christmas tree farm. 45 years later, it’s still going strong.”
Today, Oakland Tree Farm is home to several of the most popular and beautiful Christmas tree species around. Those include the Nordmann Fir, Noble Fir, Grand Fir, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, as well as the Blue and Serbian Spruce.
“All of our trees are intermingled,” she explained. “When people get here, we just send them out to find the tree that looks right instead of searching out a particular type of tree.”
Oakland Tree Farm is open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm every day of the week. When folks get there, they’re given a tag, a handsaw, and freedom to roam. When they find the tree they like, they simply cut it down and attach the tag. The tree muckers (an affectionate term, to be sure) at the farm then drive it back on four-wheelers, shake the tree out, bale it, and load it.
“We even do flocking,” Kim said. “Wreaths too.”
Locals, as well as families from as far away as California, love Oakland Tree Farm.
“People want a great tree for Christmas,” she said with a smile. “We’ve got those trees here.”
While they don’t plan to retire anytime soon, they are looking to their children to take over the family business someday.
“They all three grew up on the farm and still come down mid-November to harvest and help out. One of them might take it over someday. Or maybe one of the kids who have worked here forever will want to run things.”
In the meantime, Phil will continue working his full-time job during the day, and enjoying his part-time hobby in the evenings and weekends, including planting, spraying and sheering trees to meet the holiday rush.
“My job is to take care of the financial side of things, including shopping trips to Coastal. Everything there is easy to find. Every year, we end up buying rain boots, jackets, warm socks, tarps, and gloves to keep all the workers warm and dry. Coastal has it all.”
If you’re out looking for a Christmas tree, Oakland Tree Farm is worth the drive. We have no doubt you’ll find the perfect tree for your holiday tradition. While you’re there, ask for a cup of hot cocoa or cider. Kim says she has made hundreds of gallons of the beverages over the years.