Those of us who cherish memories of trips to the woods to cut down just the right Christmas tree and proudly bring it home should feel lucky. Most people never have that experience. It’s far more common now for families just to head to one of the lots that pop up at this time of year and settle for an okay tree trucked in from many miles away. Like many traditions, the annual trek into nature has largely gone by the wayside as urbanization has pulled us further away from our roots and traditions.
But there’s good news for residents of NC mountain communities such as The Coves Mountain River Club. We’re surrounded by some of the finest Christmas trees available, growing in three of the state’s large national forests.
Pisgah National Forest is primarily a hardwood forest with whitewater rivers, waterfalls, abundant wildlife and hundreds of miles of trails. It’s very close to The Coves Mountain River Club. The largest of the state’s four National Forests is Nantahala, with elevations ranging from 1200 to 5800 feet. Living here, you’ll also have access to the 650,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest.
You’ll find an abundance of popular tree species to choose from, including Fraser fir, eastern white pine, Virginia pine, balsam fir, blue spruce, Norway spruce, Canaan fir, Douglas fir and Leyland cypress. And, as a bonus, you get to spend time in the clean fresh air, enjoying the scent of pine needles moving gently in the breeze. REMINDER: Be sure to get the required permit from the U. S. Forestry Service.
Here in Caldwell County, you can cut your own tree at Brickyard Nursery, at 2592 Pisgah Church Road in Lenoir. Call them at 828-758-8940 or 828-499-6269. Down in Burke County, there’s Jonas Ridge Tree Farm at 8040 Joe Poore Road in Jonas Ridge. Call 828-733-4654. They’re open from nine to five Wednesday through Sunday.
The many tree farms over in Avery County serving North Carolina mountain homes include:
- A White Christmas, at 097 Davenport Road in Newland. Phone 828-765-8629. Open every day from 8:30 PM to 5:30 PM.
- Babe Clark’s Sugar Grove Nursery, 294 Everett Clark Road in Newland. Phone 828-733-5272 or 828-387-1140. Open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 7 PM, Saturday from 8 AM to 8 PM, and Sundays from 1 PM to 7 PM.
- Carolina Tree Farms, 3733 Flat Springs Road, Elk Park. Phone 828-297-4168. Open Sunday through Saturday from 8 AM to 5:00 pm.
- Christa’s Nursery, 376 Logan’s Lane in Newland. Phone 828-733-3353.
- David Pittmans Farm, at 986 Licklog Road in Newland. Phone 828-295-2545 or 828-387-1734. Open weekends till Christmas.
- Elk River Evergreens, at 121 Brooks Shell Road in Elk Park. Phone 828-387-7695. Open: Sunday through Friday from Noon to six and Saturdays from nine to six through mid-December.
- Evergreen Ridge, 299 Tower Road, Newland. Phone 828-733-9606. Open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM.
- Franklin Tree Farm in Linville Falls. Phone 828-765-2518. Open Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 6 PM through December 18.
- Fraser Forest Christmas Tree Farm, at 697 Old Jonas Ridge Road, Pineola. Phone 828-733-9613. Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 AM until dark and other times by appointment.
That’s just a partial list, and it’s always a good idea to call before you go to make sure they’re open and have what you’re looking for.
Closeness to nature is just one of the many benefits of living in NC mountain communities. Another is that such great memories are made here. Picture North Carolina mountain homes celebrating a traditional Christmas, with the family gathered around the hearth, admiring a beautifully-decorated tree that they cut by hand in the nearby woods. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
We’d like to see the perfect tree you found for your home this holiday season. Send us a picture!