Virginia Christmas tree growers deliver on this year’s harvest


christmas-treeIt’s not quite Thanksgiving, but the Christmas tree harvest is in full swing and Virginia growers are experiencing a good one.

The state’s Christmas tree industry includes thousands of growers, according to the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association. It is estimated that they have more than 7 million trees planted.

VCTGA Vice President John Carroll grows several varieties of Christmas trees at Claybrooke Christmas Tree Farm, a choose-and-cut operation in Louisa County. “The crop is good this year,” Carroll said. “Most choose-and-cut growers are selling most of their inventory every year, and this year won’t be any exception. Seventy-five percent of sales are derived from the experience of finding the perfect tree in the field.”

Most growers are sensitive to keeping their product affordable.

“There will most likely be a modest increase in tree prices this season to help recoup some of the recent increases in production costs,” Carroll said.

Rodney Richardson of Mt. Rogers Tree Farm in Grayson County is in the midst of harvesting trees from nearly 200 acres on which he grows Frasier firs for wholesale and retail sales.

“This is one of the driest seasons I can remember,” Richardson said. “But our trees look good, and this year’s yield is about the same as last year.”

The majority of trees being harvested and sold this season are large, mature trees, so while the dry weather is a concern, Richardson said it shouldn’t have a big impact on his harvest.

The growers’ association suggests using a tree stand that will hold a gallon or more of water. A fresh tree can absorb 3 or more quarts a day for the first few days after it is placed in water.

“It’s ideal to buy the tree early and put it in a bucket of water,” Richardson said.

Carroll said consumers are in for “a great year to find the perfect Christmas tree. We are fortunate to have a wide range of species in Virginia that are available for cutting at farms or purchased fresh-cut at local retail outlets. Purchasing a real tree supports local agriculture.”



uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Subscribe

Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.

 


augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news