Jack is planting a mini-arboretum on one side of the farm. The rest will revert to corn and soybeans. Remaining Christmas trees will go to family, friends, and neighbors. The Nelsons are turning their gift shop into a playhouse for their grandchildren.
They were prepared emotionally for their last Christmas as a tree farm, but there were still many tears.
"We got hugged I don't know how many times," Pam said. "It was wonderful to get that and be thanked for all the memories. People said this wasn't just a place to get a Christmas tree. It was an experience and a tradition."
Jack started the farm because it was his passion, though in the last few years it began to feel more like work. But it was this Christmas when he truly realized the impact his farm had on many people's lives.
"I'm glad to be out of the business. I have no regrets with my decision," Jack said. "But I come away from this feeling humbled. We made a difference for a lot of people."