What do architecture and Christmas trees have in common? Typically, not all that much, unless you consider that both use measurement – one in square footage and the other in feet tall – as an indicator of cost. For those who work at Altus Architectural Studios in Omaha, Nebr., there is actually one more thing that the two have in common and that is Scott Nordstrom.
If the Nordstrom name sounds familiar (especially this time of the year), it isn’t a coincidence. Scott can be found working as an Altus architect and design leader by day, but many of his evenings and weekends during the months leading up to, and just after, the Thanksgiving holiday are devoted to a family labor of love more than 50 years in the making – Nordstrom’s Tree Farm.
No, Not That Nordstrom’s
Most in the Omaha area know instinctively that this Nordstrom name has nothing to do with the famous department store bearing the same name. Scott and his wife Debbie, who is also involved in the family tree business, say every year they field several phone calls asking to be directed to the shoe department. Their polite reply is always, “no, we don’t sell shoes; we sell trees.”
Family Traditions Since 1970
Located just off U.S. Highway 133 north and west of Omaha, Nordstroms has provided quality, full-service, fresh-cut trees since 1970. The business began as a way for the family to share the natural beauty of their family farm, share their strong faith, and spread holiday cheer. It grew to become one of the best-loved destinations of the holiday season. Over the years, thousands of area families have made the trek to the farm to find THE perfect tree to serve as a centerpiece for that year’s holiday celebrations.
A typical trip to Nordstrom’s Tree farm includes much more than just bringing home a tree. Visitors are immersed in a nostalgic trip back in time where hospitality, free hot chocolate and holiday crafts are all a part of the charm. Scott’s wife, Debbie and his entire family including four kids, their spouses and grandchildren personally greet and welcome every visitor that stops by the farm during the brief but hectic tree-cutting season.
Keeping Traditions Alive
Nordstrom’s Tree Farm began with Scott’s father, Bob Nordstrom, whose dream to provide a full-service experience has more than come to fruition since its humble beginnings. Today, in addition to a wide selection of family-planted and meticulously shaped and cared-for Christmas trees, Nordstrom’s offers unmatched holiday ambiance that includes a 1953 fire truck, a five-window 1950 Chevy truck (a favorite family photo spot), a free tractor-pulled wagon ride, a heated barn and seasonal store with one-of-a-kind gifts. Once a tree is selected, guests can stand back and enjoy free full-service tree cutting, shaking (to remove any loose needles), free netting, vehicle loading, and tie-down.
Keeping the Tradition AliveScott has helped on the family-owned tree farm for as long as he can remember and says that the holiday season just wouldn’t be the same without the smell of the iconic pines and fir trees, and the physical, yet rewarding work that comes with providing thousands of Christmas trees to area families over the past 50 years. “It is really neat to keep a tradition that has been a part of my family for so many years going strong,” said Scott.
This year’s tree crop was limited due to drought and other factors that slowed growth, but the Nordstroms have taken the steps necessary, including shutting down operations just after Thanksgiving weekend this year, to ensure future years’ supply will be plentiful.
When it comes to architecture and Christmas trees, we at Altus can definitely see the connection. Most of us have been to the Nordstrom Tree Farm to find our own Christmas tree either has a child or an adult, and a few have even helped Scott on a busy weekend as he set about making memories for others.
Of course, we admire Scott for his architectural skill and creative, artistic approach to every client design project. We also greatly appreciate and respect his approach to family, tradition, and service.
Happy holidays everyone!
Editor’s Note: Nordstrom Tree Farm is located at 11401 Pawnee Rd., Omaha, Ne 68142 and looks forward to greeting tree-seekers next holiday season. For more information, visit nordstromstreefarm.com