15 awesome Lowcountry Christmas trees to get you in the holiday spirit

Breda Murphy and Maureen O’Toole with the Purple House tree

Breda Murphy and Maureen O’Toole with the Purple House tree

FUN and creativity are the inspiration behind the Dalby Christmas Tree Festival, as the Dalby Baptist Church encourages the community to get into the festive spirit.

The shortage stems from the recession in 2008 when farmers planted fewer trees due to lower demand.

Like other types of agriculture, the Christmas tree industry is under constant threat of sprawl, aging farm owners and the challenges of luring young people to the business, said Doug Hundley, seasonal spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association trade group.

The tradition began for Amy Vinson when she and her family moved to Silver City when she was 13.

The buyers' choice of trees has changed over the years, said Ed Parsons, owner of Parsons Tree Farm, Julian. The key to survival for a cut tree like Rutland sells is not putting them up to a Southern exposure window or close to a heating vent. Trees that were 16 feet tall went quick, though the lot still has handful of 14-foot trees left. The farm opens for the season on the Friday after Thanksgiving, she said. And growers in the two states say more operations have shuttered in recent years. In the past, she's had a noble fir - a more sparse tree that reminds her of the humble-but-charming Charlie Brown tree.

"Part of it is keeping my father's legacy alive", she said.

"We've got a great room with high ceilings, so we need a little bit of height", Roberts said. It happens earlier every year.

Marietta, he said, is a strong market for fresh trees.

"My kids pick it out", Amy said. It's a difference from other places that may charge extra for size.

One of those families is Jennifer and Randy Miller, Dahlonega residents who were in Gainesville on Friday and made a decision to stop in for their Christmas tree. I even stopped calling the tree fat; I didn't want to give her a complex, because to me, she was flawless. "It looks bigger once it's in the house". This year Americans are spending, and Christmas trees are in demand again.

Locally, most growers have kept their prices the same as previous year.

"Look how full!" I said.

"We've been doing this since I was little", Embrey added.

"Every year we like to go out and pick out our own Christmas tree". My boyfriend got this on video, me saying repeatedly, "what a workout!"

"Had we had seedlings, it could have been problematic", Lindsay said. "We went to Cloudcroft before dawn, and found a tree and cut it". Now he ships trees to sell at Lowe's Garden Center.

"That's very good news", he said.

At that lot, the trees range in price from $30 to $100 each. Then in the 1990s to 2000, it transitioned to Douglas fir. "Take it home, put it in the stand and put the lights and the decorations".

Employees at the farm, including Joe Walters, spend the summer months trimming the thousands of trees on the extensive property, ensuring they grow into shapely Christmas trees in time for the season. He mostly sells trees for plantings and respects the resources they give to wildlife, especially with declining habitat today.

The tree was actually small enough too that she just slid right into my back hatch, no rope needed. "It's an enjoyable family tradition".

"This year, we chose to bring my daughter, her husband and my granddaughter, and we're loving it". "He always bought a real tree". There are grand firs thick with brush and well above 8 feet tall.

So when I moved back to MI and the holidays drew near, I had to wonder if the Christmas tree cutting rules applied here in the Midwest. To be eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from the Gila National Forest, all fourth-graders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their fourth-grade pass or paper voucher. I promptly hightailed it down the mountain with a handful of cash, ready to purchase my permit at the forestry office.

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