The Inez Freeman family has made selecting a live Christmas tree part of the family's holiday traditions.

Hughes Christmas Tree Farm welcomes those seeking the perfect live Christmas tree.

The first trees were planted by Bryan and Robin Hughes in 2009. It was their dream to give people a place to choose their tree from a field, rather than out of a tent in a parking lot.

Bryan has more than 30 years experience in the business, beginning at age 12 when he worked at Whitaker’s Christmas Tree Farm in Grapeland, TX. Together, they built their farm from scratch and opened it in 2013. Their farm now grows more than 5,000 trees.

“Christmas trees are part of the magic of Christmas,” Robin Hughes said. “To see the kids faces as they run through the fields…we want them to experience the magic from the moment they step onto the farm.”

Hughes Christmas Tree Farm has become a premier destination during the holiday season with  freshest Christmas trees possible. Their selection of Virginia Pine and Leyland Cypress trees range in height from 4 feet tall to an impressive 12 feet. They also offer fresh Fraser fir trees, homemade wreaths and green or snow flocked trees.

It’s a ‘you choose, we cut’ operation. Once a family selects their tree, an employee gets to work chopping it down and hauling it back to the shop. The dead needles are shaken off with a special machine before it’s put through a chute to secure the mesh wrapping. Finally, the tree is loaded up and driven off the lot by an excited family.

Searching for a live Christmas tree has been part of Inez Freeman’s family traditions for years.

“I grew up driving out to the mountains with my family and cutting down our own tree, so I had always hoped to one day continue that tradition with my own family,” she said. “I was scrolling through Facebook one day when Hughes Christmas Tree Farm popped up in my feed. I couldn’t contain my excitement to learn there was a tree farm just a few miles away from me.”

The Freeman family loaded up in their car and headed to Hughes. That first memorable experience is what brings them back each year.

“We made the decision to transition to real trees after a decade of having an artificial tree,” Freeman said. “This is our third year returning to the Hughes’ tree farm and we just love them. They are so kind and make the experience special every year. They also provide a military discount, which is very much appreciated by this military family.”

Whether it’s continuing a family tradition or starting a new one, Robin Hughes said she enjoys seeing families come back year after year.

“It’s part of the excitement of Christmas…they’re making us part of their traditions and memories,” Robin said. “We love that.”

The Douthit family of Benton found themselves looking for their first live Christmas tree this year.

“My husband had only had real trees before and I’ve only had artificial trees,” Sarah Douthit said. “We decided that this year we would have both. We bought an artificial tree when we first got married and kept it since it’s special to us. But this year we decided to get a real tree, too.”

They went to Hughes looking for a tree that would fit their needs.

“We wanted a certain size to go in front of our living room window,” Sarah said. “We wanted a tall, wide tree. My husband and I started looking and we actually picked out the same tree without even realizing it.  The whole experience — from getting there, picking out the tree as a family, having the helpful staff cut it, shake it and load it — it was awesome. We will get our tree from there every year from now on.”

Hughes Christmas Tree Farm is located at 5501 Linton Cutoff Road in Benton. The farm will be open during the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 2. They will only be open on weekends after Dec. 3 or until all trees are sold.

For more information, call (318) 820-1593 or visit their website at

How to care for your live Christmas tree:

  1. After arriving home with your tree, cut ½ to 1 inch off the trunk.  This removes the sap seal which would prevent your tree from drinking water. This only applies if you can’t get your tree in water in a reasonably amount of time after leaving the farm.  
  2. Put your tree in a LARGE container of water.  A 6 foot tree may drink up to a gallon of water a day; an 8 foot tree up to 2 gallons a day, for the first 2 to 3 days. We have tree stands available at the farm with large reservoirs.  If the water level drops below the trunk, the sap will form a seal and the tree will no longer drink. A new cut will be necessary. 
  3. Check the water level a few hours after putting your tree in water to be sure it is drinking.  If it isn’t, repeat step one.
  4. Until you are ready to bring your tree into your home, keep it in a shady spot that is protected from the wind.
  6. In your house, place your tree as far away from heat as possible.
  7. Carefully check electric light cords and connections for hazards.  NEVER use lighted candles on the tree.


(Information provided by Hughes Christmas Tree Farm)

By Amanda Simmons

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