A weekly column by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
December 18, 2013
For many families across West Virginia, the weeks following Thanksgiving are when they seek out the perfect tree for the upcoming holiday season. Fortunately, West Virginia has more than 30 family-owned “Choose-and-Cut” Christmas tree farms conveniently located throughout the state.
These tree farms provide families with the opportunity to spend quality time together while enjoying West Virginia’s beauty. A visit to one of our Choose-and-Cut Christmas tree farm provides an opportunity to create new family memories: driving to the farm, searching for the “perfect” tree, enjoying the scent of fresh pine, and bringing the tree home. Many West Virginia farms even go the extra mile to make your family’s memories even more special, including candy canes, hot cocoa and sometimes even a visit from Santa, himself. In addition to Christmas trees, many Choose-and-Cut farms also sell wreaths and greenery. The majority of West Virginia’s tree farms provide the tools and assistance you may need to get your tree from the field to the car—while others will let you do it yourself.
Buying your Christmas tree and other decorations at your local Christmas tree farm is a great way to support the local economy—in turn keeping dollars here in West Virginia. Supporting our Christmas tree farmers also means they will continue to plant trees that provide clean air and protect water quality. While growing, these trees provide cover and shelter for our wildlife, and after they have adorned our homes during the holiday season, they are biodegradable and recyclable.
The West Virginia Division of Forestry supports Choose-and-Cut Christmas tree farms across the state by providing a variety of information to consumers including the location, operating hours, products, species, sizes and services available at each farm. To learn more about family-owned Christmas tree farms in your area visit www.wvcommerce.org/directory/christmastreefarms, for an interactive map that allows you to choose the farm closest to you, as well as the farm’s operating hours, products, tree species and services.
We are fortunate to have a Choose-and-Cut Christmas tree from a family-owned farm at the State Capitol again this year. Crickmer Christmas Tree Farm of Danese donated the tree that stands on the South Plaza of the Capitol.
I encourage you to make this holiday season special with a West Virginia-grown Christmas tree. From my family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season.