Jerry Martin hauls a freshly cut fir tree through rows of evergreens at Pine Meadows Tree Farms on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Jerry Martin hauls a freshly cut fir tree through rows of evergreens at Pine Meadows Tree Farms on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Hunting for the perfect Christmas tree in Chilliwack

A tree becomes perfect once decorated with a family’s special items, says Jerry Martin

Jerry Martin was prepared for the hunt: boots, gloves, hat and saw.

The jovial senior had pulled up in his van to Pine Meadows Tree Farms in Chilliwack on a quiet Monday afternoon. It was rainy and a mere three degrees outside, but his cheerful smile and warm presence filled the barn where Kristin Martens stood waiting for customers following a busy weekend.

Martens handed Martin a piece of cardboard for him to kneel on and out he went in search of the “perfect” tree. But where would he find it?

Once you get it home and get your own decorations on it, it really will be the perfect tree, Martin said thoughtfully.

He left the barn and looked to the left – the more trodden path – and then he looked to the right. He figured fewer folks went to the right, so surely the perfect tree was still out that way.

So off he went.

He was looking for something six feet tall, but not too wide because of the space he was going to put it in at home. He eyed one, but it wasn’t tall enough, then passed by a few more before he saw it.

It was a bit more than six feet tall, full of lush branches, and the ideal width.

The perfect Christmas tree.

He got down on his hands and knees and began to saw.

“Timber!” he shouted one minute later.

Surely Martin’s middle name is ‘Efficient’ because within five minutes he had found and cut down the beautiful, fragrant fir and was hauling it back to the barn.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this when I’m 82,” the 81-year-old said.

Martin handed the tree over to Martens who let it go for a ride in the tree shaker before placing it in the baler. The tree was slowly pulled through the machine as string whipped around it so fast it ended up cutting off the top branch of the tree.

“Well, it was a six-foot tree,” laughed Martin.

With his tree wound up tight, and a discount for the accidental haircut, Martens loaded the fir into Martin’s van and they both wished each other a “merry Christmas.”

And then he was off for home where his “perfect” tree would soon be full of ornaments and on display for his 15-plus family members coming to visit on Christmas day.

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Jerry Martin shouts “timber” as a fir tree falls to the ground at Pine Meadows Tree Farms on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Jerry Martin shouts “timber” as a fir tree falls to the ground at Pine Meadows Tree Farms on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Kristin Martens bales Jerry Martin’s freshly cut Christmas tree at Pine Meadows Tree Farms on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Kristin Martens bales Jerry Martin’s freshly cut Christmas tree at Pine Meadows Tree Farms on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)