58-year tradition: Family-owned tree farm is more than business

Santa has many helpers.

In the Christmas tree department, elf in chief Jon Pronzini comes with at least 30 semi-truck loads of trees, most from his farm. For him, the whole process, from seller to employees to customers, is about family.

Business was booming Friday at the Pronzini Family Tree Farm lot at the Marin Civic Center.

John Pronzini founded the business 58 years ago. Today, he has the lot in Marin, another at the Petaluma Fairgrounds, and a "you cut it" tree farm on nearby Adobe Road.

"We grow a million and a half trees in Oregon and we supply trees all over the United States," said Pronzini

It's very much a multi-generational family affair.

"I love it and my dad loves it. It's just always such a happy, positive thing when there's so much negativity in the world," said his daughter and second-generation tree farmer Alisa Pronzini.

"It's fun to have a family business and you can run it with all of your family members and it's Christmas," said his granddaughter and third-generation tree farmer Carly Pronzini.

The customers love the family business.

"To be able to have a business and have your family stay in it and continue and to have the following they have, I think it's fabulous and I'm happy to support people like this," said shopper Lynn Bloom.

Christmas trees, along with Santa Claus, are iconic holiday symbols.

"It's important because we can enjoy it with my daughter. Just to come every year to get the tree and put all the lights on it, we enjoy that time," said shopper Arael Santos.

Earlier this year, Mother Nature threatened Pronzini's Oregon farm.

"We didn't have any rain this year and for four days it went from 112 to 114 degrees. At 9 a.m. were vividly green. By 3 or 4 p.m. probably 30 % of the crop turned red," said Pronzini.

So, he took trees from some better-protected acres to assure the fresh green tree tradition for customers to purchase this holiday season.