LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn recently wrapped up his Hometown Tours for the year at Kluck Nursery and Christmas tree farm in Thomas Township.
Marty Royer, who is responsible for marketing and human resources for the nursery, greeted Horn and made sure the senator was equipped for an afternoon of harvesting and preparing Christmas trees.
“I not only considered this to be an exciting stop, but one that was fitting for the season,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “I’ve enjoyed bringing my family out here over the years and thought it would be a fantastic way to close out my 2015 Hometown Tours.”
Kluck Nursery is a fourth generation, family-run operation that has held its roots in the Saginaw community since the 1920s. Beginning with an acre of land, the Kluck family has expanded its operation to a full-service wholesale and retail nursery that has exponentially increased, now encompassing more than 300 acres.
“When I first got there, Marty gave me a great overview of the history of the farm, their day-to-day operations and what he had in store for me,” Horn said. “I was most impressed by what they have been able to build over time. To be able to start with a few acres and build it into a successful 350-acre business that has been family owned since the beginning is a textbook example of the American dream.”
After getting geared up and gathering the equipment, Horn and Royer began combing row after row, inspecting the trees and making sure they were all in perfect condition before consideration for sale.
“Each year they plant roughly 6,000 Christmas trees,” said Horn. “It amazes me how they keep each one of the trees so neat and tidy looking. Each tree has a perfectly symmetrical cone shape to it — and they do it by hand.”
Once a tree is selected, it is cut down, placed on a pull cart and taken up to the preparation area where it will go through various stages before reaching the customer’s vehicle. Each stage has its own special purpose related to customers’ various needs.
First, the tree is measured with rods that are seven, eight or nine feet, which represent ceiling height. This ensures the tree will comfortably fit in the customer’s home. It is then trimmed and drilled for mounting in a Christmas tree stand and shaken to get rid of any loose needles. Finally, it goes through a baler, where it is wrapped with twine and prepared for easy transport.
“I had a bit of trouble with the baler at first, but I got it down and I was able to wrap some trees for a few customers,” Horn said. “It was a great experience learning the ins-and-outs of the operation and getting to meet a few new faces throughout the process.
“If you’re in the market for a Christmas tree, I am confident the family- and pet-friendly atmosphere at Kluck’s will be a great treat for you and your kids.”
“I’d like to thank everyone involved and all who made this, and all of the 2015 Hometown Tours, a success,” Horn said. “I want to personally thank Tom Kluck for having me out to his nursery and Marty for giving us such a great and informational tour. Merry Christmas.”
For video of this and previous tours, click here.
Horn’s Hometown Tours feature various communities in the 32nd District. If you are interested in having Horn visit, please contact his office at (517) 373-1760, toll-free at (855) 347-8032 or by email at SenKHorn@senate.michigan.gov.
Editor’s note: A print-quality copy of each photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorKenHorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.
PHOTO 1 CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, speaks with owner Tom Kluck (right) and Marty Royer (center) during the final stop on Horn’s 2015 Hometown Tour series.
PHOTO 2 CAPTION: After choosing and harvesting a tree, state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, loads his pull cart and makes his way toward the prepping station, where the trees are prepared to take home.
PHOTO 3 CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, receiving instructions from Royer on the proper technique for wrapping a tree with the baler.