She made a promise to her husband to keep their tree farm going

WOOSTER, Ohio — For Rita Dush, Christmas trees hold many meanings.

“Stewardship of the land, beauty, and happiness for families,” said Dush, owner of Pine Tree Barn in Wooster.

At the barn, there is a list of different types of trees that take a while to grow. “It’s usually about eight years before we harvest,” said Brad Moore, Pine Tree Farm’s nursery manager.

It also takes time to pick the perfect tree. Once customers pick, they cut them down, shake out the pines and wrap them up to go. Though the tree may last a month or two, the joy carries forever.

“It’s the Christmas spirit — you make families happy. You see little kids that are happy,” said Moore.

It’s not just the amazing experiences and memories that last for customers. For Dush, Pine Tree Barn holds a deeper meaning.

She lost her husband two years ago today. Roger and Rita built Pine Tree from the roots of Roger’s family farm, Yuletide Tree Farm, 40 years ago. They never expected it would be as big as it is today, but they made a promise to each other.

“We knew we weren’t going to live forever, and we both wanted some farm to continue. That’s why I’m still doing it, and I’m sure if I were him and he were here, he’d be still doing it too,” said Rita.

And so every smile she sees on the farm brings her joy.

“It’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful, especially with the little kids, but they’re smiling and happy and bouncy,” said Dush.

Rita sees eight years of work, when Roger was by her side, brought to life.

“It gives me a reason for being, I miss him,” she said.

The farm is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, and they have a gift shop and restaurant on the property. For more info on Pine Tree Barn click here.

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