Trees for Troops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trees for Troops

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FAIRBANK (KWWL) Wapsie Pines Tree Farm owner Bob Moulds is one of 30 Iowa tree farmers participating in the national Trees for Troops program.

Trees for Troops helps spread holiday cheer to 37 military bases in 15 countries. Two eastern Iowa farms are participating. One in New Hampton and one in Fairbank.

"It's one thing to donate money and they can buy things, but it's another to give them something they probably wouldn't buy and wouldn't have. Like a nice, fresh Christmas tree," said Bob Moulds.

This year Moulds is donating six of his best looking and most popular trees... Fraser Firs... to our armed forces.

"We take them to Des Moines the first of December and then Fed EX provides the transportation as donation. We load up about 100 trees from the state of Iowa and then they go to a distribution. I think about 17,000 or 18,000 trees nationally go to troop bases here locally and overseas," said Bob Moulds.

Moulds sometimes finds out what military base his trees call home.

"There's a tag that goes on the tree that tells the person where the tree came from and then if they want to they can write a note back either on the Internet or personal letter. I've received some. They're very, very gracious. It's very special to them," said Moulds.

Donating these trees is moulds way of saying thank you to our troops. He's happy to help bring a little touch of home to our service members this holiday.

"The holiday season is special to most everybody. I think people where families are separated, it means more. Especially if it's been given to them by somebody who cares," said Moulds.

Wapsie Pines Tree Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving and is only open for about 17 days. The farm has 35,000 trees but tags 2,000 to sell.

In the spring, they plant 4,000 new trees. Owner Bob Moulds said you have to plant two trees to get one thanks to deer, Mother Nature and disease.

Trees grow approximately a foot a year. At two feet tall, they're hand shaped with a machete like knife.

Trees not good enough to sell are often used for wreaths and roping. This year, Moulds lost about a thousand trees when part of his farm flooded.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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