NC Grown Christmas Trees
We spend much of our lives surrounded by things made of plastic and imported from other countries. Often family time is spent as everyone gathers around his or her own electronic device. This year take time to create family memories that will last a lifetime.
This year start (or continue) a family tradition with a freshly cut Christmas tree grown in western North Carolina. Unlike its artificial counterpart, a freshly cut tree engages the senses with fragrance and soft green limbs.
There are more than 300 family-owned choose and-cut farms in North Carolina. These farms offer a variety of experiences for families. For younger children or grandchildren, you can choose a farm that has activities such as photos with Santa Claus, hayrides, and opportunities to interact with farm animals. If you’re after a taste of winter to get you into the spirit, visit a mountain farm where snow often falls, offering opportunities for snowball fights and sledding down the mountain. Dress warmly, but don’t worry about the cold. Most farms have a warm fire with complimentary hot chocolate and cider.
Farms offer other Christmas-related items, such as wreaths, garland, bows, and handmade crafts. Making wreaths and garland are family traditions for the owners of the farms and their families. Often several generations will gather together in barns and garages to cut the greenery and assemble the wreaths and garland in the weeks leading up to and during the Christmas season.
There are also many local options for fresh Christmas trees in Caldwell County. These are local trees that have been grown in the surrounding counties and provide all the enjoyment of a fresh tree. There really is something indescribable about the fresh smell of a fraser fir.
Wherever you get your tree, proper care is important to keep the tree looking it best. Once you get the tree home cut off approximately one-half inch before placing the tree in a stand. The fresh cut improves the tree’s ability to absorb water. Be sure to check the water often the first 24 hours. A tree may take up a gallon of water in the first 24 hours. After the first day a quart every 24 hours is normal. Preservatives in the water are not needed, just plenty of fresh water.
When you bring your tree inside think about where it will go. Keep your tree away from heat sources, heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, and sunny windows. Do not overload electrical circuits. And be sure to turn off lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Having a live Christmas tree in your home is a great holiday tradition. We are in one of the best Christmas tree growing areas of the country. In fact, since 1971 twelve times the main Christmas trees at the White House have come from the mountains of North Carolina. We are in an area that has a rich tradition of sustainable Christmas tree production. When a tree is cut, another is planted in its place. This cutting and replanting makes Christmas tree production sustainable.
To find a choose and cut farm visit www.ncchristmastrees.com. I want to thank my colleague Paige Patterson, Watauga Extension Agent for her assistance with this article. If you have agricultural questions contact the Caldwell Extension Center at 828-757-1290 or visit us anytime online at https://caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu.