Rayne Mendez was excited when she arrived to search for a Christmas Tree at Peltzer Pines. She got more excited when she found out she’d be able to help cut it down.
Quickly, she dashed from tree to tree, briefly examining the leaves, yelling, “How ‘bout this one Mommy?”. Then jumping to the next tree saying the same thing.
Mendez said this was her first time cutting her own tree and, “It was amazing!”. She added, “The weirdest thing about cutting down my own tree is that I can go back, but I couldn’t go forward” referring to the saw, which she was only able to move in one direction. Mendez was able to cut down the tree with a little help from Chase Peltzer.
The Peltzer family has been farming in Orange County since 1913 – selling locally-grown trees the last 51 years. Today trees are grown in Brea and Silverado.
Chase Peltzer’s great-great grandfather, Victor Peltzer, was farming in Anaheim before selling that land to Walt Disney.
Chase Peltzer said his grandfather, Chuck Peltzer, knows exactly where his old farm house stood because he recognizes trees that are still in the Magic Kingdom. According to Chase Peltzer, his grandfather’s original farm house was located where Tom Sawyer’s Island is today.
Chase Peltzer works at the tree farm everyday from the Saturday before Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve – only taking Thanksgiving off.
The farm opens at 11:30, but Chase said on opening day people start lining up in the middle of the night in an effort to pick the perfect tree. People often come on opening day, tag their tree, then come weeks later to pick it up.
Chase Peltzer said it takes four years to grow a tree big enough to sell. He said they plant new trees in March and all summer long workers tend to the trees trimming them to grow in the familiar triangle shape.