In 2008, more than 17,000 trees were collected nationwide and donated to Trees for Troops, a component of Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, which is a nonprofit branch of the National Christmas Tree Association. The trees were mailed to 53 bases; two overseas. This year, Julie Liebmann, owner of Rockinghorse Farm in Jamesville, took part in the 5-year-old program.
"I donated three trees from here," she said. "There are many, many growers who just donate a few because we're not huge growers, but we want to do something to give back."
Local Girl Scout troops from across Central New York also joined in giving. The girls gathered at the Jamesville Fire Station on Veterans Day to make the troops ultimately more than 300 ornaments. The trimmings were shipped along with the trees via Fed Ex, which donated delivery trucks.
"If people want to donate trees, they can always put money down for next year's collection," Liebmann said. Prices range from about $37 to $45 per tree.
A Cazenovia native, who's been a Jamesville resident for 21 years, Liebmann opened Mrs. Green Jean's Landscaping Company on Apulia Road almost 30 years ago. The nursery shortly followed.
Rockinghorse Farm offers homeowners a variety of spruce, firs and pine trees from which to choose. Customers have the option of cutting down their own tree or selecting one of many pre-cut trees on hand. Each year, the farm opens for business the four weekends leading up to Christmas. Hours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment. Call 492-1100.
For more information about Trees for Troops, visit treesfortroops.org.