NYS Agriculture Department kicks off the holiday season with tree cutting at Chalker Creek Farms

Tree from Chenango Forks will decorate New York Welcome Center
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:16 PM EST
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CHENANGO FORKS, NY (WBNG) -- One of the thousands of trees at Chalker Creek Farms in Chenango Forks was selected as the perfect tree to decorate the New York State Welcome Center off of I-81 in Kirkwood.

For the owners of the farm Jessica and Joe Licatta, it was a special feeling knowing one of their trees will be on display for many this holiday season.

“It’s fabulous,” said Jessica Licatta. “We’re showing off all the hard work and other people get to enjoy it and that’s why we do this so people can enjoy it and be apart of the season. It’s wonderful there will be a tree there for everyone to enjoy.”

For Commissioner of the New York State Agriculture Department Richard Ball highlighting New York State tree farmers with a tree-cutting ceremony is a yearly tradition.

He sees it as not just an evergreen way to kick off the holiday season but a celebration of the hard work of tree farmers throughout the state.

“It kicks off not only the holiday season, but it kicks off business for New York tree farmers,” said Ball. “New York agriculture is such an important part of New York State. We rank in the top 10 in over 30 different commodities, so we’re important tree growers nationally.”

As Christmas approaches the Licattas said nothing quite encapsulates the magic of the holiday season like a live Christmas tree.

“We’re one of many farms and we’re happy to be part of it,” said Joe Licatta. “Live trees in your home are such a wonderful thing for the Christmas season. It’s a wonderful symbol and a wonderful sentiment to celebrate the Christmas season.”

Chalker Creek Farms officially opens for the season on Nov. 24. They will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday until Christmas.