Tree farm experience

Lots of local families choose live trees

CHAD PLAUCHE-ADKINS The Marietta Times Joe Dennis arranges trees at Holiday Tree Farms in Vincent on Tuesday.

There are plenty of ways to decorate for Christmas but for most, wreaths, Christmas cards on the mantle and strung lights can’t compete with the centerpiece of the season, the Christmas tree.

Even though fake tree sales are on the rise according to, there were still more than 27 million real Christmas trees sold in the country during 2017. The people who get their trees from a tree farm instead of a box store get a lot more than just a holiday decoration, said Bob Morrison, owner of Caywood Christmas Tree Farm on Caywood Road near Marietta.

“It’s a family experience and makes memories,” he said. “We just had a couple here that tagged a tree and are coming back this weekend with their grandaughter to cut it down.”

Tradition plays a big role in why Brooks Ludwig, 30, of Ripley, W.Va., comes to Caywood Christmas Tree Farm every year to get his tree.

“It started when I was a kid,” he said. “My parents would take me to get a tree until I was about 15. I heard about (Caywood Christmas Tree Farm) and have been coming for about eight years now.”

Ludwig said that he wants to pass the tradition of getting a live tree for Christmas down to his children, as long as they don’t go overboard with it.

“The kids enjoy the process,” he said. “We let them pick it as long as it isn’t 20 feet tall.”

Carol Carter, 45, of Marietta said she is also one of the people that gets a real tree every year.

“I am a very traditional person,” she said. “I have a nice old house in Marietta and a real tree fits with it better.”

Larry Beals, owner of Holiday Tree Farms in Vincent, has been selling live trees for 46 years at their location and said the upswing in fake tree sales hasn’t affected his bottom line this season.

“We’re having a pretty good year,” he said.

Beals is having such a good year that they have already depleted most of the inventory at 2682 Veto Road.

“We’ve sold about three-quarters of our stock,” he said.

Holiday Tree Farms has three varieties of trees to choose from: Frazier Fir, Blue Spruce or White Pine. The farm also has trees that are potted, allowing the owner to plant it on their property after the season ends.

When picking the perfect tree, Beals said customers seem to have a preference.

“They like the taller and slimmer ones, especially if they are pretty full,” he said.

But Beals said that the biology of the White Pine can cause some people headaches.

“They don’t like their softer needles,” he said. ” It makes it harder to hang the ornaments on.”

Carter said she prefers the Douglas Fir, but will settle for any type as long as it meets her criteria.

“It has got to be fresh,” she said. “No dying needles and very full.”

Some people love to celebrate the season with a live tree, but just not one the size Beals and Carter have in mind. David Schiefen, 65, of New Matamoras, said his decorations are economical while still being fun.

“I just dig up a little pine tree I have in my yard every year and put it on my kitchen table with battery lights,” he said. “Then after Christmas is over I go out and replant it in the same spot in the yard.”

Christmas tree purchase sites:

•Holiday Tree Farms: 2682 Veto Road, Vincent.

•Caywood Christmas Tree Farm: 2940 Caywood Road, Marietta.

•Williamstown Lions Club at Tomlinson Park: Corner of Seventh Street and Highland Avenue, Williamstown.

•Lowe’s: 842 Pike St., Marietta.

•Poplar Ridge Tree Farm: 3623 W. Poplar Ridge Road, Malta.

Source: Times research.