A farm for the holidays

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For Dr. Mel Koelling, his 180 acre tree farm in Mason is his life.

After 37 years at Michigan State, he retired and now works his farm full-time.

At the beginning of the season, Koelling had over 90,000 trees on his property. Now, it’s his season to sell.

“We expect to sell 3,000 more trees,” he said.

And, understandably, he loves Christmas.

“Christmas is the most joyous celebration event of the year,” he said.

He plants trees that aren’t ready for sale for about 10 years.

“We lose maybe 10% of what we plant,” Koelling said.

But, as the trees age, so does the 82-year-old.

“We’re not going to live forever,” he said. “That’s a part of the culture, that’s a part of our destination.”

He’s not concerned about what will happen after. It’s currently family-owned, but he has some employees he trusts to take over.

“I don’t worry much about a legacy,” Koelling said.

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