Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association.

It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of average retail sale height (6 feet), but the average growing time in 7 years.

The farm used to be a wholesale operation when Richard was young, but choose-and-cut later became the better option for keeping the farm in business. The operation opens for sales each year the day after Thanksgiving, and Richard says that opening weekend was the busiest weekend of the holiday season at the farm last year. The transition was a sensible one, according to David Smith, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension agent for Cumberland County who provides information and support to Richard and other farm producers in the county. Insects and weeds must be kept at bay.  Growing Christmas trees is a year round job.  Considering the time and work required growing a quality tree, Christmas tree growers truly must be optimists. Making the transition from wholesale to retail was a natural occurrence given the fact that tree prices basically have remained the same over the past decade,” he says. Looking for Christmas trees and wreaths? In fact, wreaths form another portion of the farm’s revenue stream.

©2007 Mount Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association • Whitetop Mountain, VA, Growers of Premium Fraser Fir for America's Christmas Tree Industry, Mount Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association • Whitetop Mountain, Virginia USA. “One of the biggest challenges with local agricultural retail businesses is the transition to websites to capture on-line sales and shoppers,” says David Smith. Home; About Us; Member Info; Newsletter Archive; Scholarships; Member Login The farm also takes advantage of the visibility offered by the “Virginia Grown” marketing program coordinated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. When he approaches the Christmas season, he projects his inventory by counting the number of trees that meet his standards for quality. Meet the 2016 Fall Festival at Richlands Dairy Farm. 2014 is already shaping up to be a good sales season so long as the rain holds off on the busy weekends.

Some trees are more sensitive to warm soil temperatures than others, so Richard strategically takes advantage of the shade offered by the woods bordering the farm. Fraser Fir has excellent Christmas tree qualities and grows native only in a relatively small area of the highest elevations of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They are known for retaining their needles far longer into the holiday season than most other tree varieties.

Click here to download our Member Directory! Today, offerings include Leyland Cypress, Canaan Fir, Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, Blue Ice Cypress, and fresh-cut Fraser Fir. Check for announcements and meeting info here.


The deer are another more difficult story. There is a lot of work to growing a quality Christmas tree.  This year’s harvested seven-foot tree started as a seed planted twelve or thirteen years ago!  Each year the trees must be sheared to assure uniform, dense foliage. Richard has to plant nearly two thousand trees each year so that several hundred trees per year will be ready for sale further down the road. Through our support of research and education, we strive to improve the numbers, quality and types of trees available to the fresh tree market. Check for announcements and meeting info here. “Producers affiliating with associations such as Christmas tree associations receive the benefit of additional public exposure. Of the two thousand initially planted, only a portion ultimately survives from seedling to sale due to environmental conditions, pests, and other stressors.

The tree farm has grown and changed since his father established it in 1966 on a properly in Cumberland County bordering Route 60. Because associations have the support of multiple producers they should take the lead to help producers capture on-line traffic,” adds Smith. Through our support of research and education, we strive to improve the numbers, quality and types of trees available to the fresh tree market. Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation webpage, Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association webpage, Introduction to Growing Christmas Trees in Virginia publication. Those which are too large, too small, have bare spots, or look stressed do not make his count for potential saleable trees, but he has found that customers sometimes surprise him with their choices. “If you have an obnoxious cat, that’s a good tree,” he jokes in reference to his Blue Spruce.

Read More, Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association. Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association Providing Fraser Fir trees to America's Families From a humble beginning, the Christmas tree industry in the high country of Southwest Virginia has evolved into a business providing full and part-time employment to hundreds of local citizens. What does the future hold for the Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation?

Richard successfully navigated this transition recently, creating a website with photos and information about the trees to reach more customers searching for the farm online. Meet the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center. what you can do to protect your harvest. Richard took over the operation in 1994 after his dad passed away and, for one thing, he now uses a gas-powered yule trimmer to make tree shaping a more manageable summertime task. Gypsy Moths in Grayson County ~ Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association (VCTGA) is an association of professional Christmas tree growers interested in the expansion of our farming industry by growing and marketing quality trees.
The farm also takes advantage of the visibility offered by the “Virginia Grown” marketing program coordinated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Members: He cautioned the buyer that a different tree would look healthier and last longer, but this person insisted that he had found the perfect Green Bay Packers-themed tree.

Please tour our site for more information about Christmas Trees, helpful articles, and links to growers and our area's recreational beauty. Richard is also supported through his membership in the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association. Some, like White Pine, may show nearly 95% percent survival, while other more difficult trees may have a 25% survival rate. Richard Nuckols has memories tracing back to several decades ago when he, his father, and his two brothers spent summers shaping Scotch Pines with hand shears. Along with choose-and-cut and pre-cut trees, many farms also sell fresh-made wreaths, garlands, holiday greenery, roping, centerpieces and tree stands. Planting is another time-consuming annual farm chore. UPDATE: Mt. When he is not shaping trees, Richard must scout for pests like bagworms and scale which can be destructive on any kind of tree farm. A Real Tree Experience grown and sold by the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association makes Christmas come alive! Growing trees is year-round job with extra time demands not just during the holiday season but also during the summer. Richard also has tradition his side—as long as families continue to choose fresh-cut, Virginia Grown trees during the holidays, his farm full of carefully-tended, beautifully-shaped trees will remain a fixture in Central Virginia’s landscape. Hopefully plenty of healthy new trees and fewer deer are on the horizon. Others, like the cypress, prefer a more basic soil than other trees, so Richard plants them in an area that has been amended with lime. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Click here to download our Member Directory! Tree shearing dates vary by tree because each type has different growth habits, but once shearing begins, it is a seven-day-per-week, eight-hour-per-day commitment. “Nuckols Christmas Tree Plantation is one of our oldest wholesale-turned-retail operations. When it comes to needle size, needle retention, fragrance, size, shape, and feel, the farm has a tree for every taste and need.

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