Community helps Christmas tree farmer get back in business devastating fire

Christmas tree farmer back to work after fire

Medford, Oregon — Year after year in Medford, Oregon, the warmth of Christmas begins at the U-Cut Christmas Tree Farm where families find their perfect tree and cut it themselves. Larry Ryerson, 76, owns the farm and his kindness is the ornament that comes with every tree.    

"They say that this is their tradition and we're here for their tradition," he said.

For many families, it's a tradition they do together, with Ryerson helping along the way. But this year, it was Ryerson who needed to be taken care of. His house burned down July 4. 

"I lost all my farm equipment. All the tree farm stuff," Ryerson said. 

The community gathered around him and donated four-wheelers, generators and bow saws.

"He has enough friends that we were gonna get together and make it happen," said customer David Heard.

U Cut Trees opened on time and Ryerson sold 900 trees the first weekend.

"I couldn't control myself and you know, like tears and — and joy that people I didn't even know… I don't know how to repay them," Ryerson said. 

He already has. His trees will greet them once again on Christmas morning.  

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.