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Hard Work Of Growing Trees Pays Off At Christmas

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Despite the recent drought, North Carolina's Christmas tree crop is strong and healthy.

Bobby Brock, getting the trees on his Wake Forest farm ready for another enjoyable brisk holiday season, is one of many tree vendors in the area.

A total of 50 million Fraser Fir trees are grown each year in North Carolina, and the state has been chosen eight times to supply the official White House Chritmas Tree.

Even with the drought, this year's crop of trees could keep anyone's Christmas green for years.

Farmers like Brock put a lot of work into getting the trees ready to look good this time of year.

Before one of his trees is selected to brighten a home, Brock strives to make sure it looks perfect.

Brock enjoys the work. He has grown trees for almost 30 years.

Brock grows cedars, pines and cypresses. And he's been hand-sculpting every tree on the farm for years.

"You'd be surprised how many folks ask me: 'Gosh, do you have to trim them?'" Brock said. "Yep, you do.

"It takes a lot of work [to make a tree], cause it doesn't really want to be a Christmas tree. You've got to convince it to be one"

Brock's farm is what's called a choose-and-cut operation.

"On a farm like this, the tree is only part of what you buy," he said. "For many folks, the adventure of finding just the right tree and cutting it down yourself creates family memories that can last a lifetime"

"The funniest part of doing this is watching the kids as they are having so much fun running and yelling and so excited about picking out the tree as a family. It's a family experience for those kids."

Brock said the family fun he sees makes up for the times when he's out with his shears in 95-degree weather, convincing his trees to shape up for Christmas.

To find out where some of the area's best tree farms are, check out the

North Carolina Christmas Tree Guide.

There's also good Christmas tree trivia to be found at

N.C. Christmas Trees

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