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Go to a Christmas Tree Farm to Relive Make Keep Memories

Sunday, November 12, 2006 | 06:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – “You can get a tree anywhere, but to get a real Tennessee Christmas experience, you have to go to the source: a Tennessee farm,” says Rob Beets.

 

 

“You can pick up a natural tree any number of places on your way home—at retail stores, in parking lots, along road sides,” says Beets, marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.  “You can drag an artificial tree out of the storage and set it up—but having a Christmas tree is not just about having a place to hang your ornaments.

“Tennessee Christmas tree farmers know that getting your tree is about an experience, the kind you’ll remember and weave into the fabric of your life’s holiday memories and traditions.

“Fact is, people go to Tennessee’s popular Christmas tree farms for all the other things they get there— for an outdoor experience, holiday activities like wagon rides, having hot cocoa or cider while they stroll through the grove looking for their perfect tree, visiting with Santa Claus, even making their own decorations.

“Every tree farm is different, but they all want to provide customers with even more than that quality, homegrown tree to enhance a Tennessee Christmas celebration,” says Beets.  “They also want to give you a great holiday experience that will keep you coming back to see them year after year.”

Tennessee Christmas tree farms are spread out across the state, according to Beets.  The types of trees grown depend on the geography and climate of the region, from mountain region trees like firs and spruces in Upper East Tennessee to warm-weather wetland trees like pines and Leyland Cypress in West Tennessee. 

Wherever they are, Christmas tree growers are consumer-friendly, says Beets, usually offering customers several ways to choose their perfect tree. Tree shoppers may wander through groves of uncut trees and cut their own, have trees cut for them, select a freshly cut tree on site at the farm or take home a live balled and burlapped tree.

“Aside from sentimental reasons, there are some pretty practical reasons to choose straight-off-the-farm Tennessee Christmas trees,” says Beets: “Cost and quality.  Buying direct from the grower eliminates transportation and middleman costs. Cutting out transportation time also means the customer is assured the freshest tree possible.

“Trees coming from out of the state are cut well before Thanksgiving—sometimes as early as October.  The freshness of a Tennessee Christmas tree guarantees not only maximum fragrance and appearance but safety, as well.”

Beets also points out that tree farm customers get an accurate view of the shape of their tree when they choose it, unlike typical retail store trees with branches that need to “fall out” after having been tightly wrapped and stacked in heavy piles for transportation and storage.

“When you go to a Tennessee Christmas tree farm, you are assured of three things,” says Beets: “a fair price, a great holiday experience, and a fresh cut, fragrant tree.  When a tree is cut in front of you, there is no doubt you are getting the freshest tree possible.”

“Some folks in this part of the country still associate homegrown Christmas trees with that red cedar they used to cut out of Granddaddy’s fence row,” says Beets.  “You didn’t dare cut it until a few days before Christmas because it would dry out almost immediately.  Your arms would get scratched trying to decorate it, and then when you took it down, those little barbed cedar needles would be nearly impossible to get out of the rug.”

“Today’s tree farm experience allows you to relive the great part about those memories without the negative parts attached,” says Beets.  “Now you can add great new memories and traditions to your holidays with a visit to a Christmas tree farm—and, if you choose a balled and burlapped tree for a place of honor in your lawn, it’s a memory you can keep fresh and growing, year after year.”

For a complete listing of Tennessee Christmas tree farms and for tips on how to choose natural trees for cutting or for post-holiday planting, visit www.picktnproducts.org and click on the Christmas tree.

For other Tennessee farm-direct, artisan and gourmet products, visit the “Taste of Tennessee” online store site at www.picktnproducts.org.

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