Honey Creek Timbers started in 1980 when Carol and Dave Pierce purchased land near Morning Sun and began managing the timber and planting seedlings. Additional land and a home were purchased in 1985 and the Pierces have been working since then to develop and diversify Honey Creek Timbers into a managed hardwood timber and Christmas tree farm.
Many Louisa County residents will recognize the Pierce name from the furniture store started by Dave’s great grandparents in Morning Sun. They continue that tradition today with Pierce Furniture in Muscatine. Carol and Dave have an entrepreneur’s spirit and love of the land. Honey Creek Timbers has allowed them to pursue both passions.
Since the early 1980’s Dave has planted in excess of 25,000 hardwood seedlings, including white and red oak, walnut, ash, and hickory. Starting with an existing, mature timber has allowed the Pierce’s to harvest some hardwoods while they wait the 50-60 years necessary for their seedlings to mature.
Early on Dave completed the Master Woodland Owner program through Iowa State University Extension and worked with state foresters to develop a plan for Honey Creek Timbers. Looking to diversify their operation, Carol and Dave decided to start planting Christmas trees, which can typically be harvested in seven years. In 1986 they sold their first Christmas trees and have become a family tradition for many area residents that trek to Honey Creek Timbers annually. Customers can select from scotch and white pines as well as white spruce and Frazier firs. You can cut your own tree or select one of their pre-cut trees.
In addition to Christmas trees, Honey Creek Timbers offers beautiful wreaths and roping. Since 1986 they have sold more than 10,000 wreaths and 35,000 feet of roping. Great products and service have made Honey Creek Timbers a destination for families in an eleven county area and for select customers from as far away as Chicago. Hot cocoa and peanuts in the shell complete the holiday experience.
Recently Dave has been working with a small sawmill he purchased as part of the continual evolution of his business. Harvested trees can now be turned into custom cut lumber and used to produce beautiful finished wood products. Honey Creek Timbers is the perfect example of how a love of nature and the outdoors can be combined with successful land stewardship and turned into a thriving business. Their work was recognized by the state of Iowa when they were named Woodland Owner of the Year. This year, plan on taking a visit to Honey Creek Timbers and let Carol and Dave help you find the perfect Christmas tree grown right here in Louisa County.
-- From Naturally Louisa County Newsletter, October 2011
By Dennis Fraise, Louisa Development Group, Director of Business Services