Ikes to sell fraser firs for Christmas

By Thomas Nelson, tnelson@charlescitypress.com

The Charles City chapter of the Izaak Walton League will be selling Christmas trees on South Main Street, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving.

On Wednesday morning about seven league members put up the fence to house the trees.

The Ikes will get 125 fraser fir trees to sell, with the proceeds going to help the Ikes’ conservation efforts to buy land for Floyd County Conservation, and contribute to conservation education.

“We go with Pheasants Forever and those guys and help buy property and then turn it over to the county for wildlife areas,” said Jon Schneckloth, Charles City Izaak Walton League vice president. 

The use of the lot the Ikes are using was donated by Joe Maloy Insurance Agency, located next to where the Ikes are selling the trees.

“We’ve only moved our stand to two different locations,” Schneckloth said. “This is the third location we’ve had in 30 years.”

The Ikes have used that location for the past four years. In the past they’ve been at R Campground and before that it was in the area where McQuillen Place is being built.

The trees are coming from Winona, Minnesota, and are supposed to arrive on Monday next week.

“We send a trailer, a truck and a man to go Winona and pick them up,” Schneckloth said.

The sale will be begin on the Friday after Thanksgiving and continue through that Saturday and Sunday.

The hours are expected to go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., accept on Sunday when the hours will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Schneckloth said.

The Ikes will continue to sell trees the next weekend “if we have trees left,” Schneckloth said.

“So we’re basically going to try to sell 125 trees in five days,” Schneckloth said. “That’s not uncommon for us to do.”

Randy Vandeventer, an Ikes member, has donated a trailer for the 15 or so Ikes that are volunteering to help to use to keep warm.

“There’ll be signs,” Schneckloth said. “I think people will know where we are.”

Often times people will come to pick up trees after church on Sunday, Schneckloth said.

“Sunday mornings and afternoons are fairly busy for us,” he said. “The real big day is usual Friday.”

The price of the trees will be determined after they have the trees in hand.

“We try not to gouge people, and give them a quality tree,” Schneckloth said. “These fraser firs have been really successful in the last few years.”

Fraser firs usually come in around 6 to 7 feet tall, and “they hold ornaments really well,” he said.

“It’s been a good choice for us,” Schneckloth said. “We used to have a variety of trees, and finally settled in on the fraser fir ones.”

Usually the Ikes get 75 trees, but this year they’re getting 125.

The Ikes will also deliver trees for a small fee, within five miles of their location.

“It’s only two bucks for an in-town delivery,” Vandeventer said.

The Ikes will help tie the trees on cars, and shake them to make sure nothing is still living in the branches.

“We trim the base on them, so that when they get home, they only have to put them in water for couple of days,” Schneckloth said. “These trees are cut fresh.”

The bottom of trees will seal over shortly after being cut down, so the Ikes cut about an inch off the bottom so they can be placed in water.

“They really hold their limbs well,” Schneckloth said.

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