Start the season! Step 1: the tree!

It’s the central piece of Christmas decor. Sure, you could drag a dusty fake tree down from the attic. Or you can spend

Mountain Vista Christmas Tree Farm

Mountain Vista Christmas Tree Farm

some quality family time picking out a full, lush, live tree to brighten up your living room.

Local farms raise varieties of trees that you can browse together, some spanning acres, so there’s a lot to choose from.
Pick out the fullest fir you can find, and at some farms you can chop it down yourselves (or have someone more skilled uproot your tree without damaging its fine branches.)

Not only are you supporting a local farmer, you can make an evening of it. From the deep greens to the shimmering, silvery blues, take your pick of tree color, shape and specimen.

The WV Chamber of Commerce has an interactive map of live trees in West Virginia. Here are the local Southern WV tree farms (click for times and details):

Mercer County
Bluestone Nursery (Camp Creek)
Mountain Vista Christmas Tree Farm (Princeton)
Plateau Tree Farm (Princeton)

Fayette County
Honey Suckle Glade Farm (Denese)
Crickmer Farms (Lookout)

Raleigh County
Piney Tree Farm (Piney View)

Nicholas County
Yagel Poor Farm (Craigsville)


Remember that with any tree, you’ll want to water it regularly
to keep the needles from drying out and falling off. Water will
keep them green and strong.

Even if you cut your own fresh tree, slice the bottom off again
just before you put it in your tree stand. This will remove the
sappy layer it will grow, and help it take more water in, which
will keep it fuller longer.


When selecting your tree, consider:

* Price– Smaller trees are cheaper, and pines can be found
more affordably than firs, but it really depends on the
farm. Call ahead and ask about price ranges to know what to
* Durability– Some trees have thicker branches that will hold
heavier ornaments. Sturdy trees include fraser fir and blue
spruce. But the flexible branches of a white pine might not
carry the weight.
* Longevity– The needles on certain trees last longer than
others. And quickly shedding needles can make a mess! Trees
like a norway spruce are less likely to retain their
needles, so they’re better for later in the season, or
farm-fresh and well-tended.
* Needle type– Look out! The scotch pine’s extra gorgeous
greens are also extra prickly! But the white pine is soft
and safer for kids and pets.
* Color- The colors of common Christmas tree range through
every shade of green into vibrant blues. Choose one that
will complement your home and your decorations.

The best part about buying from a local farm is that the growers
can give you detailed information about which tree will suit
your needs. Here are a few details about common tree types:

White Pine

* soft, blue-green needles
* branches are less sturdy for heavier ornaments
* thickly covered tree (which can make decorating harder, but looks more full and lively)

Norway Spruce

* great buy for later in the season
* needles fall off more quickly than some other options
* cut fresh & local, water regularly to help it stay full

Blue spruce

* silvery-blue needles
* strong enough to carry your heavier ornaments and decorations
* color may not go well with the same ornaments that would complement a greener tree

Fraser Fir

* Dark blue-green, durable needles
* space between the branches, with more room for ornaments to hang

* firm to handle heavier decor
* pleasant natural scent

Concolor Fir

* small, narrow needles
* fresh, inciting scent.
* color that may become a deeper green as it ages

Scotch Pine

* sharp and spiky needles, so you might want to wear gloves to decorate
* lush greenery, so there’s not much room between branches for ornaments
* needles also fall out more quickly than other trees

Where are you getting your tree this year? Show it to us when it’s finished! Post photos in the comments.

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