The Katzberg family – Bernie

Only a real tree will do for Christmas centrepiece

NANAIMO – Mike Gogo's tree farm celebrates 84 years of family traditions.

Mike Gogo’s family has been in the Christmas tree-selling business for 84 years and according to him, there is nothing like a real Christmas tree.

Artificial trees might work for some people but not for Gogo.

“They go great with a plastic turkey,” quipped the tree farm and sawmill owner, estimating that a good, artificial tree costs $250 and after 10 years, looks like someone “ate it.”

“If you pay $25 for a beautiful, fresh tree, that gives you 10 years of beautiful, fresh smelling trees, in your house and also, it’s 100 per cent renewable, 100 per cent biodegradable and the artificial trees are made of oil,” Gogo said.

With Christmas quickly approaching, the traffic heading down South Forks Road to get to Gogo’s farm is intensifying. Heading there to choose a Christmas tree can be a chance for families to bond, as grandparents, parents and children can make an outing of it.

Gogo said the second and third weekends of December are when he sees the most customers.

“We like coming out here because we love real Christmas trees and the tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree,” said Blake Howe, who was at Gogo’s farm Saturday.

“I like looking around and exploring (for) Christmas trees … We’re looking for a Charlie Brown tree,” said son Dusty.

This is Bernie, Coralee, Jessica and Ethan Katzberg’s first time searching for a Christmas tree in Nanaimo and they were inspired to select their tree.

“A light came down from the sky and illuminated it from above,” joked Bernie. “And the kids helped pick it out too,” Coralee added, also stating that the family loves authentic trees.

“The real ones are better,” Coralee said. “They smell good.”

Gogo said his tree farm will be selling trees until 1 p.m. on Dec. 24 and is open from dawn until dark. He also has a tree lot on Pryde Avenue in Nanaimo.

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