Swan’s Christmas Tree Farm, family-owned and operated for over 50 years

For five generations, Swan’s Christmas Tree Farm has been providing quality Christmas trees and holiday cheer to local Isabella County residents and beyond.

The family-owned and operated business has been passed down for generations. Located at 6250 W. River Road in Weidman, the farm is currently run by husband and wife Leonard and Carol Swan.

The property originally joined the Swan family in 1908 through a purchase made by Leonard’s great-grandfather. The farm was inherited by Leonard’s father, who often sold trees down in Detroit as well. In the 1990s, he passed ownership to Leonard and Carol who currently operate the farm with the help of their adult children, grandchildren, and extended family.

Swan's Christmas Tree Farm in Weidman, Michigan has been family-owned and operated for more than 50 years.“We pride ourselves on being a family business,” Carol says. “This farm is a very important piece of inheritance in Leonard’s family history.”

Leonard has deep roots in Weidman and Carol is also a long-time mid-Michigan resident herself. Married for over 55 years, the couple has kept close to the farm throughout their marriage.

“We live right up on the corner of River and Coldwater and have been there for most of our marriage,” Carol says. “The farm just feels like an extension of our family home.”

Originally, Swan’s was a small Blue Spruce farm. When the couple took over the property, they immediately began replanting trees every year to promote new growth. Today, the results of their hard work is shown in the variety of options available.

“We’ve transitioned it over to mainly Frasier Fir, Canaan Fir, and Balsam Fir, but we do still offer Blue Spruce,” Carol says.

The couple used to operate a tree nursery which also included evergreen and deciduous trees. In 2010, Leonard received a cancer diagnosis and the couple eventually stopped operations and sold all their supplies. However, as a result of transplant efforts, they were able to preserve many of the trees at the farm. Ever since, they’ve been focusing exclusively on Christmas tree sales.

“Our most requested tree tends to be the Frasier Fir for its soft, short needles,” Carol says. “Those tend to go the fastest so we recommend coming out early if you have your eye on a Frasier.”

Employees wrap up a tree for a family to take home and enjoy for the holidays.

Swan’s offers customers the option to choose and cut down their own tree, then staff can shake, drill, and wrap the tree for them. There’s also a pre-cut option. The pre-cut method is more expensive than U-cut, but final prices are determined based upon the tree itself. Tree bags and stands are also sold for easy cleanup.

“If you get a sparse tree with a lot of holes then we reduce the price a little bit, while a full tree would be full price,” Carol says. “In general, anything under 8 feet is around $40.”
Mt. Pleasant resident Kent VanderLoon poses for a photo, showing off his freshly-cut Christmas tree for this year's holiday. 
Swan’s offers a unique cutting experience compared to most other tree farms. Rather than walking around the farm with a wagon, customers can access the entire farm by vehicle. The different types of Christmas trees are grouped apart in blocks and the Swan’s staff can direct customers to a specific section.

“Customers can strap the tree right up to their car and avoid all the unnecessary walking,” Carol says. “It’s especially convenient in bad weather or for older customers.”

Mt. Pleasant resident Kent VanderLoon is a long-time customer of Swan’s. He’s been drawn back by the unique shopping experience.

“This place is very special. We come every year,” VanderLoon says.

Swan’s season typically runs every year from the weekend before Thanksgiving to shortly before Christmas though they may stay open longer during certain years based upon demand. The tree farm is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This year, Leonard and Carol have decided to remain open an extra weekend. They will be open for special extended hours on Saturday, Dec. 18 and Sunday, Dec. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other than Christmas trees, Swan’s also offers a variety of Christmas decorations and home decor. They feature locally-made wreaths, pillows, and blankets. Customers can also escape inside to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and candy canes.

In addition to trees, Swan's Christmas Tree Farm offers fresh wreaths and other festive decor for the holidays.

“Our goal is to provide family-friendly Christmas tree shopping for anyone that visits,” Carol says. “We try our best to offer comforts from the cold for the kids that visit.”

Swan’s also hosts special Christmas events such as a Santa Claus meet-and-greet. For the parents and adults, Swan’s often hosts raffles to have a chance at winning free items from the gift shop.
Customers Matthew and Rosie Bednorek come to Swan's Christmas Tree Farm every year to pick out their tree.
Customers from across the state appreciate Swan’s dedication to a wholesome experience. Father and daughter duo Matthew and Rosie Bednorek are loyal customers returning for another year of Christmas cheer.

“We drive 45 minutes here every year to come pick out our tree,” Matthew says. “It’s the best place.”

For those that still use artificial trees, Carol says she promises you won’t go back after making the switch to real Christmas trees.

“We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible and our trees themselves contribute to the fresh air we breathe in,” she says. “Choose the ethical route and avoid all of the plastic and trash that ends up in our oceans and landfills from fake trees. I promise the time and energy is worth it.”

As Swan’s season draws to a close, Leonard and Carol are looking towards improvements for next year. They plan to install a fence around the farm to combat damages caused by deer. They also hope to repair the barn on the property and improve their security system.

“We’ve also thought of adding a fire pit to create a social area outside,” Carol says. “We just have to be careful with the area we choose so it’s in a safe location and away from any human traffic.”

For anyone interested in visiting, stay updated on last-minute scheduling decisions at facebook.com/SwansChristmasTreeFarm. Directly message Leonard and Carol through Facebook or call (989) 954-0489 with any questions.
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Read more articles by Leona Falconer.

Leona Falconer is a Central Michigan University undergraduate student with focuses in the fields of public relations, journalism, and communication. With a hometown in Metro Detroit and a residence in Mt. Pleasant, she covers growth and innovation across all of Michigan. She currently writes for Epicenter Mt. Pleasant and Central Michigan Life. You can reach out to her at falco1l@cmich.edu or leonarosef16@gmail.com.