Christmas tree farms offer a fresh alternative
by Cheree Dye
Dec 01, 2013 | 5136 views | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Emalee Weldon, from left, and her brother Chase and sister Ella drag the family Christmas tree they helped saw down at Young Road Christmas Tree Farm in Cartersville. The three are the children of Brooke and Dan Weldon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Emalee Weldon, from left, and her brother Chase and sister Ella drag the family Christmas tree they helped saw down at Young Road Christmas Tree Farm in Cartersville. The three are the children of Brooke and Dan Weldon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Retail stores were not the only businesses to see a great deal of shoppers on Black Friday.

At Young Road Christmas Tree Farm, owner Travis Cochran said, “We were very busy from the time we opened until dark on Friday.”

The family-owned tree farm has been run by the Cochrans for the past 30 years and is located at 139 Young Road, Cartersville. The five acres of trees, ranging from saplings to full-grown conifers, offer buyers the choice of Virginia Pine, White Pine, Leyland Spruce and Eastern Red Cedar.

“The most popular trees are usually our White Pine or Leyland Spruce. In the past, the average size tree I’ve sold is about eight feet tall but this year there have been more people wanting nine- to 10-foot trees,” Cochran said.

The farm, which opened on Thanksgiving Day, will give shoppers the opportunity to pick their own tree through Christmas Day from 10 a.m. until dark. Once the tree is chosen, people have the option to cut it themselves or Cochran will chop it down for them.

Brooke and Dan Weldon, of Calhoun, brought their four children to pick out a tree on Saturday.

“This is our fourth year cutting our own tree,” Dan said. “It’s more fun for the kids this way. Each one of us takes a turn sawing the tree and everyone helps to get it to the car. The whole family gets to participate in the experience. This year we even brought our new puppy, Mattie,” Brooke said.

Other “cut your own” Christmas tree farms can be found at pickyourownchristmastree.org or gacta.com.

According to the Georgia Christmas Tree Association, there are several ways to keep a tree fresh throughout the Christmas season. First, prior to placing the tree in the stand, it is beneficial to cut a quarter inch from the base of the trunk. This will enable the tree to absorb water. One of the most important factors is to make sure the tree has plenty of water. Within the first two days in the stand, the tree can absorb up to a gallon of water a day and up to a quart of water per day afterward. Also, keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators and television sets.

Whether families buy precut trees or cut their own, the Christmas tree has a long-standing history.

According to history.com, while the practice of placing evergreen branches in homes during the Winter Solstice dates back to ancient times, the tradition of the Christmas tree as we know it began among Christians in Germany during the 16th century. The first record of a Christmas tree in an American home was not until the 1830s; German immigrants to Pennsylvania began the tradition in the New World.

The growth of Christmas customs in America was dampened by the lingering influence of the Puritans, who believed it was a sign of paganism to celebrate Christmas in any form other than attending a church service. The Puritans’ sway began to decline, however, and by the 1890s the custom of adorning a tree with homemade ornaments or apples, nuts and brightly-dyed popcorn strands became a widely-accepted practice in American culture, according to the website.