A Leslie Family Holiday Tradition: Choose and Cut Trees

Posted November 26, 2006 10:15 p.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2006 11:16 a.m. EST

— Our Weekend Getaway takes us to Sparta for a Leslie family tradition.

We drive to the mountains every Thanksgiving weekend and pick out our Christmas tree from a choose-and-cut lot. It is obviously a tradition for hundreds of other families as well. We run into a lot of folks from the Triangle and Triad as we peruse the fields of evergreen in Alleghany County.

It's not a bad drive. Only about three hours. We'll stay in our little cottage in Glade Valley overlooking the beautiful Devotions property, including the Mitchell River.

I guess we could cut a tree on our property. But our Colorado or blue spruce needles are a little too sharp and stiff. We prefer the Fraser fir with its soft and flexible needles.

Choose-and-cut lots dot the landscape up here. Alleghany joins Ashe and Avery as the most productive Christmas-tree-growing counties in the state.

North Carolina has 1,600 Christmas tree growers who generate 50 million Fraser firs on 25,000 acres. The Fraser firs make up more than 90 percent of all Christmas trees grown in the Tar Heel State.

After we pick our tree, probably on a lot near Camp Cheerio, we will take Highway 21 into Sparta for lunch at the Little River Grill.

That reminds me. I need to pack the bungee cords. I don't want those two trees I purchase and place on the top of my car to become missiles. Say "Hey" if we run into each other this weekend.