Takes years to grow fresh cut Christmas trees

By Kevin Jeanes - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Christmas only comes once a year, and so does the family excursion to pick out the tree.

But those trees don't become Christmas trees overnight. It takes years for them to be ready for display in your living room.

"We're talking six to eight, 10 years to get the tree up to the saleable size, so it's a long-term endeavor, but if you've got them in a cycle type thing, then it -- you know, you're selling but then you're planting as well," said Tom Hicks, owner of Windy Knoll Farm.

The evergreens at Windy Knoll Farm have been growing for years. But many people are wondering if this summer's drought had any impact on this year's pine trees.

"Fortunately, with the Scott, they're more of a deep-rooted tree, more of a tap root. They did very well," Hicks said. "The White Pines, we did have a handful of those that we lost, but they were smaller trees. Like in the two or three-foot range."

When other trees are cut down and shipped, they can develop a layer of sap on the bottom of the trunk, making it difficult to absorb water. So an important word of advice.

"Once its decorated, they have got it in the sand, got the water, and don't let the water level drop below the base of the tree because then it will reseal and then it's already up. And actually, it should be cut again," he said.

Buying from a farm would ensure you get the freshest tree available, and help the local economy. Plus, any trees that are not chosen will always be there next year.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services publishes an annual Virginia Grown Christmas tree guide.

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