virginia christmas tree growers association

Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association (VCTGA) is an association of professional Christmas tree growers interested in the expansion of our farming industry by growing and marketing quality trees. New Mount Rogers Fraser Fir Seed Orchard Richard took over the operation in 1994 after his dad passed away and, for one thing, he now uses a gas-powered yule trimmer to make tree shaping a more manageable summertime task. Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association. Home; About Us; Member Info; Newsletter Archive; Scholarships; Member Login Tree shearing dates vary by tree because each type has different growth habits, but once shearing begins, it is a seven-day-per-week, eight-hour-per-day commitment. One time, a customer chose a tree which was yellowing on the bottom and green at the top.

Growing trees is year-round job with extra time demands not just during the holiday season but also during the summer. He cautioned the buyer that a different tree would look healthier and last longer, but this person insisted that he had found the perfect Green Bay Packers-themed tree. 2014 is already shaping up to be a good sales season so long as the rain holds off on the busy weekends. Through our support of research and education, we strive to improve the numbers, quality and types of trees available to the fresh tree market. “One of the biggest challenges with local agricultural retail businesses is the transition to websites to capture on-line sales and shoppers,” says David Smith. The transition was a sensible one, according to David Smith, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agent for Cumberland County who provides information and support to Richard and other farm producers in the county. Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association Providing Fraser Fir trees to America's Families From a humble beginning, the Christmas tree industry in the high country of Southwest Virginia has evolved into a business providing full and part-time employment to hundreds of local citizens. Richard has to plant nearly two thousand trees each year so that several hundred trees per year will be ready for sale further down the road. When he approaches the Christmas season, he projects his inventory by counting the number of trees that meet his standards for quality. Insects and weeds must be kept at bay.  Growing Christmas trees is a year round job.  Considering the time and work required growing a quality tree, Christmas tree growers truly must be optimists. Hopefully plenty of healthy new trees and fewer deer are on the horizon. Read More, Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association.

Planting is another time-consuming annual farm chore. The farm also takes advantage of the visibility offered by the “Virginia Grown” marketing program coordinated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Others, like the cypress, prefer a more basic soil than other trees, so Richard plants them in an area that has been amended with lime. Of the two thousand initially planted, only a portion ultimately survives from seedling to sale due to environmental conditions, pests, and other stressors. © print(Date("Y")); ?> Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association, Meet Magie Van Eps, Green Acres Farm, and the VSU Edamame Project. Mt. Looking for Christmas trees and wreaths? Richard successfully navigated this transition recently, creating a website with photos and information about the trees to reach more customers searching for the farm online. Today, offerings include Leyland Cypress, Canaan Fir, Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Blue Ice Cypress, and fresh-cut Fraser Fir. Search for Virginia Christmas tree growers online at www.VirginiaGrown.com and on the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association’s website at www.VirginiaChristmasTrees.org.

Growers who switch to retail production find that marketing trees is a task of its own. Check for announcements and meeting info here. When it comes to needle size, needle retention, fragrance, size, shape, and feel, the farm has a tree for every taste and need.

The operation opens for sales each year the day after Thanksgiving, and Richard says that opening weekend was the busiest weekend of the holiday season at the farm last year. Fertilizing trees may not be a high priority, but make no mistake about the maintenance requirements for a Christmas tree farm. From a humble beginning, the Christmas tree industry in the high country of Southwest Virginia has evolved into a business providing full and part-time employment to hundreds of local citizens.  More than a quarter of a million trees will be harvested and shipped to markets across the United States this Christmas season helping to make the holidays a little brighter.Â. Some, like White Pine, may show nearly 95% percent survival, while other more difficult trees may have a 25% survival rate. The deer are another more difficult story.

Fraser Fir has excellent Christmas tree qualities and grows native only in a relatively small area of the highest elevations of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They are known for retaining their needles far longer into the holiday season than most other tree varieties. “Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation is one of our oldest wholesale-turned-retail operations. Because associations have the support of multiple producers they should take the lead to help producers capture on-line traffic,” adds Smith. Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation webpage, Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association webpage, Introduction to Growing Christmas Trees in Virginia publication. When he is not shaping trees, Richard must scout for pests like bagworms and scale which can be destructive on any kind of tree farm. Richard is also supported through his membership in the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association. In our area it all began in the early 1950’s with one or two innovative individuals selling wild collected trees from native stands of Fraser Fir.  Trees were sometimes sold for as little as fifty cents each. ©2007 Mount Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association • Whitetop Mountain, VA, Growers of Premium Fraser Fir for America's Christmas Tree Industry, Mount Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association • Whitetop Mountain, Virginia USA. Click here to download our Member Directory! Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association, Fraser Fir ~ America's Premium Christmas Tree. Through our support of research and education, we strive to improve the numbers, quality and types of trees available to the fresh tree market. Mt. Making the transition from wholesale to retail was a natural occurrence given the fact that tree prices basically have remained the same over the past decade,” he says. Richard Nuckols (left) and Extension agent David Smith (right), standing in a planting of Blue Ice Cyrpress, discuss soil fertility and soil testing on the farm. Those which are too large, too small, have bare spots, or look stressed do not make his count for potential saleable trees, but he has found that customers sometimes surprise him with their choices. There is a lot of work to growing a quality Christmas tree.  This year’s harvested seven-foot tree started as a seed planted twelve or thirteen years ago!  Each year the trees must be sheared to assure uniform, dense foliage. UPDATE: Some trees are more sensitive to warm soil temperatures than others, so Richard strategically takes advantage of the shade offered by the woods bordering the farm. Check for announcements and meeting info here. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Meet the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The tree farm has grown and changed since his father established it in 1966 on a properly in Cumberland County bordering Route 60. Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association (VCTGA) is an association of professional Christmas tree growers interested in the expansion of our farming industry by growing and marketing quality trees. He has found that the trees need no irrigation and little to no fertilizer. By using predator insects to control scale in recent years, he has noticed a deep reduction in his need to spray trees, and lately he has been able to keep the bagworms in check by removing them as he sees them. What does the future hold for the Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation? Click here to download our Member Directory! It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of average retail sale height (6 feet), but the average growing time in 7 years. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. “Producers affiliating with associations such as Christmas tree associations receive the benefit of additional public exposure. In the early 1970’s the privately owned range of Fraser Fir in Virginia became part of the Mount Rogers National Recreational Area.  However, the industry has continued to expand with farm grown trees for the Christmas tree and nursery industry.  In addition to Fraser Fir, members of the Association also grow White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, and other species.

what you can do to protect your harvest. Richard also has tradition his side—as long as families continue to choose fresh-cut, Virginia Grown trees during the holidays, his farm full of carefully-tended, beautifully-shaped trees will remain a fixture in Central Virginia’s landscape.

needs your help! Meet the 2016 Fall Festival at Richlands Dairy Farm. The farm also takes advantage of the visibility offered by the “Virginia Grown” marketing program coordinated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “I like shaping trees, but I’ll tell you, that was drudgery right there,” he says. Gypsy Moths in Grayson County ~ “If you have an obnoxious cat, that’s a good tree,” he jokes in reference to his Blue Spruce. Please tour our site for more information about Christmas Trees, helpful articles, and links to growers and our area's recreational beauty. A Real Tree Experience grown and sold by the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association makes Christmas come alive! The farm used to be a wholesale operation when Richard was young, but choose-and-cut later became the better option for keeping the farm in business. [READ MORE]. Members: During Richard’s childhood, the plantation grew White Pines and Scotch Pines. Along with choose-and-cut and pre-cut trees, many farms also sell fresh-made wreaths, garlands, holiday greenery, roping, centerpieces and tree stands. To further complicate planning the planting, some trees such as the Cypress may grow far more quickly than their peers, and Richard must account for the fact that all trees take several years to reach a saleable size. They can kill two dozen of his trees in a year just by rubbing them, but thankfully most of his larger trees recover from the damage or can be salvaged for wreath material if they become unfit for sale. Richard Nuckols has memories tracing back to several decades ago when he, his father, and his two brothers spent summers shaping Scotch Pines with hand shears. Richard is also supported through his membership in the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association. In fact, wreaths form another portion of the farm’s revenue stream.

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