Have you already drank so much holiday-cheer-laced-eggnog that you now want a Christmas tree in every room of your house? Have you been procrastinating buying your tree since you put that Thanksgiving turkey in the oven almost a month ago? Were you feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge and recently had a change of heart thanks to a visit from ghosts of Christmas past? Did you buy a fake tree last year but have since realized you miss that unmatchable pine smell? Well, look no further than the tree lot at Mountain Hardware & Sports in Truckee.
Every year, a few days before Thanksgiving, Boy Scout Troop 267 heads out into the Plumas National Forest to harvest roughly 350 trees to sell as a fundraiser to fund the local scout program. These young men, ranging in age from 12 to 18, trek into the wilderness and in a single day, usually lasting around 14 hours, sustainably harvest all 350 trees. Not bad for a group of 40 scouts and a hard day’s work.
“These trees are freshly cut and locally grown,” Mike Salmon, assistant Scoutmaster to Troop 267, said. “And part of an overall forest health and sustainability program managed by the US Forest Service.” Salmon explained that 100 percent of the profits go back to funding local scout programs such as backpacking, hiking, skiing, advancement, and merit badges.
Not only are the scouts harvesting the trees, but they are setting up the lot, orchestrating sales shifts, managing lot snow removal, and disassembling the equipment at the end of the season.
“The troop’s program offers a fun and exciting opportunity for youth to learn and grow individually and as part of a team while developing good character,” Salmon said. “Purchasing a scout tree is buying local, buying sustainable, and supporting the troop directly.”
Already have your tree for the year? I don’t think so.
Here is a list of totally random, but uniquely fun places to put a second (or third or forth) tree this year: Your baby’s nursery, the back deck of your house, the bed of your truck, the end of your dock, or your office entry way. The possibilities are endless, so next time you’re driving by Mountain Hardware do yourself a favor and pull in and buy a tree because no one ever says to themselves, “You know what self, you bought just one too many Christmas trees this season.”