Trees for Troops program kicks off

Angela Sutfin
Senior Airman Jim Ray loads trees onto the truck to prepare for their shipment to Fort Drum as part of the Trees for Troops program. The trees will be donated to families of soldiers at Fort Drum.

Trees for Troops, an annual tradition for Stephens Tree Farm that began even before Andy Murphy became the owner, provides families of deployed soldiers with Christmas trees for free. Most of the trees at local tree farms such as his end up in local living rooms, but some of them go to serve as a holiday reminder for those farther away as a token of appreciation.

Trees from Stephen’s Tree Farm in Hartsville will be taken up to the Rochester/Churchville area and combined with trees from other farms to eventually be taken to the North Country for Fort Drum families.

This year, the farm is donating about 70 Christmas trees that will be taken to Fort Drum and many other area tree farms will be taking part in the initiative to spread holiday cheer.

“We have collected trees and will be taking them tomorrow to Painted Post to be collected for the Trees for Troops program,” said Andy Murphy, owner of Stephens Tree Farm in Hartsville. “We’re sending about 70 trees this year to the families of the soldiers who I believe are deployed which is a good way to give back for their service,” said Murphy.

 “We also need to thank Marcus Tree Farms, Yule Tree Farms, Hidden Valley Tree Farms and Kent Tree Farms for donating along with us here at Stephens Tree Farm for this shipment of trees,” Murphy said.