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Forester Bob shares his bounty with all who visit

POULSBO — Bob Klein jokes that his Christmas trees are like his great-grandchildren but it’s really the families he sees each holiday season that make it all worthwhile.

Klein, the owner of Sawdust Hill Tree Farm with his wife Karen, said the couple enjoys owning one of the few u-cut Christmas tree places in the area.

“I like it mostly for the people,” Klein said. “We get a lot of repeat customers and watching their kids grow up from babies in arms to going to school is really neat.”

Since 1997, the farm near the corner of Sawdust Hill and Stottlemeyer Roads has offered Christmas trees to the North Kitsap community. Annually, the Kleins welcome about 1,000 customers through their gates for a taste of Christmas traditions.

Folks can stroll the 10-acre farm and choose between 2,000 to 3,000 noble, grand and shasta and a few small frasier firs, all hand-planted and nurtured by Klein, also known as “Forester Bob” by those who frequent the farm. The business offers tagging service, where families can come pick out the perfect tree now and cut it closer to Christmas.

“I think some of them like to wait for better weather, too,” Klein explained.

Sawdust Hill’s tagging began Nov. 22, but Klein said those who missed the first weekend shouldn’t worry about selection.

“We have so many nice ones that there’ll be plenty of options,” he commented.

Each tree is hand-trimmed by Klein and an assistant to ensure that they each “keep the Christmas tree shape” but are also as natural growing as possible. Klein said the most abundant, and largest, trees this year are definitely the nobles — with the largest ones measuring 17-feet tall — but they are not his personal choice.

“My favorite is the shastas for just the color and the shape,” Klein said. “I guess it reminds me of the high mountain trees.”

Trees are priced by height and quality and are clearly marked in the field to give a family an idea of the height and cost before they cut down their tree. The farm provides hand saws and drag cloths and once customers are back with their tree, they can fuel up with free hot cider and cocoa, cookies and candy canes.

“And free smiles,” Klein said with a chuckle.

The couple also offers wreaths, garlands and even boughs for the crafty folks out there.

Sawdust Hill Tree Farm, 2600 block Sawdust Hill Road, will be open to cut Christmas trees from 10 a.m. to dark through Dec. 20. For more information, call (360) 638-2726.

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