Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree.......

Over the mountains and into the valley!
 We invited a friend and his daughter to go with us to cut our Christmas tree this past weekend.  My family has cut our own trees since I was a youngster - a long time! On Sunday we headed out to Sandy Mush Valley in Leicester - on the border of the next county out.  Frazer Fir trees only grow over 3000 feet  and this area was a higher elevation than our town.

Tractor rides!

The kids are having fun.

Once we left town the roads got less crowded with the last six miles going up and across the mountains and down into the valley.  We began to see cars going the other direction with trees strapped to the roof or even tucked inside, crowding out the people.

Rows and rows of trees.

Not an easy task.
It was  a busy day for the Sandy Hollar Christmas Tree Farm.. The weather was mild yet a little cloudy and misty being on the mountains. The farm  offered rides through the trees in their wagon, hot chocolate, a fire pit for warmth  and even had a huge inflated snowman to welcome the kids.

Our perfect tree.

My husband found the perfect tree right off the bat.  I put a marker on it so we could find it again and headed out to look at the others.  I wasn't going to take the first tree we saw now, was I?  The hillsides are steep and that day muddy.  Walking was a bit of a struggle.  We found  a couple of others we liked but after hiking back to the original tree, we decided our first choice was the best.



Our friends were new to this and took a little longer to choose theirs.  Someone from the farm cuts the tree for you and even helps get it to the car on their ATVs.  Being experienced at this, we hauled our own. A six foot Frazer Fir is not light weight!  The farm hands bale the tree if you want  - makes it easier to get in the car.  We have a pick up truck so that was not an issue for us.  Our friends decided they had room in the SUV for the tree rather than tie it to the top.

Putting it in the baler

We paid for our trees and enjoyed some popcorn and hot cocoa before heading off home to set up and decorate our Frazer Firs.  We explained to our friends the details of fresh cut trees - how to cut a bit more off the base before putting it in the stand and filling the stand with warm water for the first day.  After that they must keep the well full of fresh water to ensure a long lived tree.  These trees keep their needles forever...  I have had Frazer Firs up and decorated through March, changing the decorations for each holiday - Valentines Day and then St. Pats.  My husband would not let me leave it up for Easter!

Do you have any Christmas tree traditions in your family?


Carletta said...

We haven't had a real tree for many years. The kids always loved playing among them.
We have an artificial tree and my husband says every year I should just decorate by seasons. He hates taking it up and down. :)
Lovely post!

Cheryl said...

Wonderful story and photos. I've never been to the Carolinas. I live in the Pacific NW now. We have lots of trees. I like living here because of the rain.

Robin said...

Looks like quite an operation, and you picked a beautiful tree.

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Old Kitty said...

Wow - what a great day out! Love this tradition!

I guess the only family christmas tree tradition I can think of is putting up the tree on christmas eve while having midnight snacks and things thinking we'd catch Father Christmas!

Enjoy your amazing tree! Take care

Fuzzy Tales said...

Dad and I used to take the old skidoo and sled out when I was growing up, and go cut our tree. And I always got a tiny tree for my own bedroom too.

I'd love to have a real one now, but our city doesn't pick up the trees anymore, after the holidays. You have to haul them to the recycle centre on your own...a bit difficult for those of us without vehicles to do. So the boys never have had a real tree--though Annie and Chumley did a few times. :-)

Louvregirl said...

Thank you for the tip on the warm water; I know that you can toss in a couple of aspirin too, it thins the sap and the water gets up into the tree better. Our fresh cut (last year) from around Boone stayed so green and supple; I noticed when we took it down (around Jan. 13th or so) that it was not even dry at all. Wow!! What a difference in a fresh cut!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Just that it must be a real tree. :)

Anonymous said...

It's a whole Christmas tree farm! Lovely.

Liz said...

I can't wait to see it with all the trimmings!

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Liz said...

We don't have real fir trees here. :(

Carver said...

I enjoyed this post so much. We use to always go to a tree farm for our tree but I haven't done that in a while.

Something funny happened a few years ago, getting my tree at a corner stand in Raleigh where I live. It turned out the tree sellers had brought trees from their farm in Grassy Creek, NC which is in Ashe County. Well, my great grandparents had a farm in Grassy Creek and I was named after their son Carver (although I'm a women). My grandfather Carver, died when my mom was a baby but I had fun as a child visiting my great grandparents farm when we were also visiting my grandmother in Boone. Since Grassy Creek is basically a post office and Church and wide place in the road, what are the odds that I'd go to a stand in Raleigh and buy a tree from people who were from Grassy Creek?

W. Latane Barton said...

I've never been to a tree farm. It looked like it would be so much fun. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

LV said...

I would have never been able to select one from all those trees. I have never even been to a tree farm. We always went to the woods.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Makes for happy remembrances both for your family, as well as remembrances from our own Christmas tree cutting. We used to have cut trees and also a couple that we planted after Christmas, and then a few years ago, we got a "pretend" tree...and that was the end of something that was so special for many years. Your images, make me miss those times and yet what a happy feel each of your shares produce in me~

eileeninmd said...

Picking out a live Christmas tree is a lot of fun, they all look like beautiful trees. It must have been hard to pick just one. Wonderful photos.


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