Glenn Brown has been selling Christmas cheer in the Augusta area for 18 years.
Fraser firs up to 11 feet tall sit for sale outside Christs Sanctified Holy Church in Evans.
Photo by Valerie Rowell
Brown, of Smokey Mountain Christmas Trees, sells Christmas trees from his North Carolina farm in Westtown Shopping Center and National Hills Shopping Center. He recommends looking at lots of trees before making a decision on one.
"We try to display as many trees as we can to give people a good selection," Brown said. "If they look around and look at all the different one, the more trees you have to look at, the better idea you have of what height you want, how full."
It's that time of year again, when the Thanksgiving turkey is fading away and Christmas trees are filling parking lots around the area.
The main enemy of a beautiful healthy Christmas tree is dryness. The quicker you buy once the lots open, the less time your tree has spent on a truck or displayed with no water. Many people will buy early and keep the tree outside in the shade in a bucket of water until it is time to move inside for decorating, Brown said.
Choosing a moist tree is an important step in keeping it gorgeous all season. A dry tree will easily loose needles when a limb is shaken or rubbed.
"One of the things you want to make sure of is when you go up to it and tap it, that needles do not fall off," said Jenny Addie, of Green Thumb West. "When you bend (a limb or twig), you want it to be very pliable and spring back. When you bend the little twigs, you want them to spring back immediately, not just sort of stay limp."
Brown also recommends looking for a dark green tree. At his farm, the trees get fertilized including iron in the late summer to bring out the dark green color.
Most tree lots will make a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree stalk to ensure it has not sealed up, blocking the absorption of water.
"If you delay any time before going home, you will need to shave it a little bit more," Brown said. "It opens up those pores in the bottom of that tree so it will suck up more water."
Since Thanksgiving is a week closer to Christmas this year, the tree only has to last a month or so without drying out. Calvin Burleson, of Plum Tree Farms has set up across from Club Car on Washington Road for about 14 years. He said the heavy rains this year will keep dry trees to a minimum.
"The biggest mistake so many people make is they take the tree home, fill up the stand with water, then forget about it," Burleson said. "You should always keep it in water."
If the tree goes without water for too long, the stump will seal over and needles will dry up and begin falling off.
Addie recommends, specially on live trees, to keep them inside the house for as short a time as possible. The dry warm indoor air can dry the tree out much quicker than moist outdoor air.
So, the lesson is, "Keep the moisture to them," Addie said.
Martinez-Evans Christmas Tree Lots:
Santa's Christmas Shoppe
Location: 799 Industrial Park Drive (on Krystal River Water Park grounds)
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 9 p.m.
Trees: Fraser fir and white pine, 5 feet to 9 feet tall
Prices: $40 and up
Plum Tree Farms
Location: Washington Road at Club Car Drive, Evans
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Trees: Fraser fir, 3 feet to 14 1/2 feet
Smokey Mountain Christmas Trees
Location: Westtown Shopping Center, Martinez, and National Hills Shopping Center, Augusta
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Trees: Fraser fir, 3 feet to 15 feet
CSHC Christmas Tree Lot
Location: Christ's Sanctified Holy Church, 136 North Belair Road, Evans
Trees: Fraser fir, 4 feet to 11 feet
Martinez United Methodist Men
Location: 3614 Washington Road, Martinez
Hours: Monday-Friday 3 to 9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 9 p.m.
Trees: Fraser fir, 6 feet to 9 feet
Young Life Christmas Trees
Location: Furys Ferry Road across from Publix Shopping Center
Trees: Fraser fir
Green Thumb West
Location: 110 Davis Road, Martinez
Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5:30 and Saturday to 5:30
Trees: Fraser fir cut, 7 feet; white pine and Norway spruce, ball and burlap, 5 feet to 6 feet
Prices: cut $49.99-$59.99; ball and burlap $39.99-59.99
Greenbrier Nursery and Gifts
Location: 4749 Washington Road, Evans
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
Trees: Fraser fir, 3 feet to 10 feet
Clarks Hill Christmas Tree Farm
Location: Clarks Hill, S.C. Take Furys Ferry Road to Clarks Hill and follow the signs.
Hours: Monday-Friday 2 to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5:30 p.m.
Trees: Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, cedar, Carolina Sapphire, Clemson Greenspire and Deodar cedar, up to 30 feet
Prices: $28 and up
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