Finding a healthy Christmas tree from Virginia

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Many families will kick off their search for the perfect Christmas tree this weekend.  Most tree lots and farms in the area will be opening for business either tomorrow or Friday.

For many folks, as soon as that turkey is put away they are in the Christmas spirit, and many times that starts with finding the perfect Christmas tree. Whether you are going to cut one down at a farm or haul one away from a tree lot, there are a few things you need to know.

"Sometimes starting on Thanksgiving day and certainly the Friday after, most of the farms are open, the retail lots are open," said Elaine Lidholm with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Agriculture and Farming experts are hoping this holiday you'll choose a Virginia grown tree.

"You want to make sure that it's fresh, so that it lasts through the season and doesn't drop it's needles and that kind of thing and the best way to know it's fresh is to get one that came from here in the state, and if you go to the farm and cut it yourself, they just don't come any fresher than that," Lidholm said.

Plus, farms often provide more than just trees.

"You get a day in the country, you make memories, you take hay rides, there may be a visit with Santa," Lidholm said.

If you don't want to cut your own tree though, many local lots offer Virginia grown trees like Francisco Farms Tree Lot at the corner of Robious and Midlothian in Chesterfield.  Their trees come from Staunton.  All you'd need to do is a quick health test.

There's an easy way to test and see whether or not a tree is fresh. All you have to do is pull on the boughs.  If a bunch of needles fall off that means that the tree is not fresh and not very healthy.

Fraser Fir and White Pines are the most popular trees. White Pines are cheaper and last a long time, but they don't smell. Fraser Firs are pricier but very fragrant.

One thing that you can go ahead and do today or tomorrow is measure your space. A lot of people will gravitate towards the tallest tree on the lot, but you shouldn't get it if you don't have room for it.

Check this link for the Virginia Grown Christmas Tree Guide. If you don't have a computer, call agriculture and consumer services at 786-3935 to get a copy.

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