On South Carolina Christmas tree farms, preparing for the festive season lasts all year long.
当苏珊·芬克和她丈夫, 芯片, 1983年在格林维尔购买了一个30英亩的农场, the couple planned to use the land for her horses but a small plot of Virginia Pines growing on the acreage led to a new plan. The couple opened 神秘树农场 and started selling ‘choose and cut’ Christmas trees.
“We didn’t know a thing about [growing Christmas trees] when we started,” Fink explains. “We thought, ‘this looks easy; we’ll try it.’”
四十年后, the Finks have expanded the operation from two acres of Virginia Pines to six acres that includes 美国五针松s, 卡罗莱纳的蓝宝石, 蓝冰柏树和利兰柏树.
说到圣诞树, 像俄勒冈州, 北卡罗莱纳, 密歇根州和宾夕法尼亚州拥有最多的种植者. South Carolina might be an under-the-radar growing region but there are a lot more Christmas tree farms than most people realize—and an increased interest in supporting local farms has made South Carolina Christmas trees more popular than ever.
The South Carolina Christmas Tree Association has 46 member farms across the state and association secretary (and grower) Steve Penland estimates there are an additional 20 non-member tree farms in South Carolina. 每年的财政影响接近400万美元.
南卡罗来纳州的圣诞树农场卖出了大约40棵,000 South Carolina-grown Christmas trees at their 'choose and cut’ tree farms every year,彭兰说. “大多数都很早就卖完了，而且种植面积正在增加.”
Fraser firs remain the quintessential Christmas tree and South Carolina growers often purchase pre-cut trees, 有强壮的枝干, 蓝绿针, 香气扑鼻, 来自北卡罗来纳州的农场, 在假日期间出售.
弗雷泽冷杉也供不应求. 北卡罗莱纳州的种植者在经济衰退期间暂停了植树, 艾利森·摩西, 约克郡彭兰德树木农场的第二代种植者. 尽管新的弗雷泽冷杉被种植了, 这些树需要8到10年才能成熟, 造成市场空白.
“There are fewer farms [selling Fraser firs] and they are much more expensive,摩西说.
Pandemic-related supply chain issues also made it harder to ship Christmas trees (both real and fake trees), sending merrymakers in search of locally grown options for their holiday decorating.
幸运的是, several species of Christmas trees grow well in South Carolina and the shortage of Fraser firs has led to an increased interest in local options. 当地种植者采取措施满足需求.
卡罗莱纳的蓝宝石 and Blue Ice cypress: These cypress trees are among the newest species developed for Christmas trees. 两种植物都有柔软的蓝绿色针叶，浓密的树枝和浓郁的香气. These trees are known for drying out quickly though even with adequate water and are best purchased three to four weeks before Christmas.
Leyland cypress: This is perhaps the most popular species of South Carolina Christmas tree. Its needles are a dark grey-green in color and strong with limited dropping but the aroma is limited. Murray cypress is a variety of the Leyland cypress and has several of the same characteristics. 柏树不产生汁液.
维吉尼亚松: This species is native to the South with short needles and a pine scent. 弗吉尼亚松有结实的枝条，非常适合悬挂超大的装饰品. 白松是另一种选择. 白松有柔软的蓝绿色针叶和松香, 但是它们纤细的树枝更适合小的, 轻量级的装饰品.
一英亩地最多能容纳1个,200棵圣诞树, 一棵树苗长到完全大小至少需要五年的时间, 根据摩西. 种植者每年种植新的树苗，并在整个季节准备田地, 种植新树, fertilizing and shaping trees until they are ready to be cut and decorated for Christmas.
“有这么多事情要做，”摩西说. “We love growing Christmas trees and have our blood, sweat, and tears in every tree. 卖树给你的人是做了所有工作的人.”
彭兰树木农场从1972年开始销售“挑选和切割”圣诞树. 摩西在农场长大，并继承了她父母的生意, 史蒂夫和朱迪·彭兰, 退休. 农场种植利兰柏树, 维吉尼亚松, 美国五针松, 卡罗莱纳的蓝宝石, 圣诞薄荷柏木, 红雪松和蓝冰树.
South Carolina Christmas tree farms are racing to keep up with the interest in locally grown Christmas trees. In 2021, 芬克种下的,600 additional trees; an additional 2,000 trees were planted this spring and they hope to continue expanding their growing area.
Moses starts selling trees the Friday after Thanksgiving and sells out in two to three weekends. 芬克也有类似的时间表.
“我们过去一直营业到12月20日，”她说. “在过去三年里, 我们的生意增长了30%，感恩节后一周就卖光了.”
Fink tells those who want to decorate South Carolina grown Christmas trees to plan to purchase their trees as soon as farms open for the best selection—and to ensure that the trees aren’t sold out for the season.
All the hard work pays off in November when farms like 神秘树农场 and 彭兰树木农场 open to the public and start selling trees.
Each farm has a different set up: 神秘树农场s sells ‘choose and cut’ Christmas trees, 花环, 和花环. 在周末, 乘坐小型火车穿过农场, 新鲜玉米的味道弥漫在空气中. 芬克还设置了多个节日小插曲, 包括一个全尺寸的驯鹿雪橇, 为家庭拍照的机会.
芬克说:“我们每年都在尝试添加一些新东西. “Some people come and cut a tree and leave but others spend a few hours here enjoying the atmosphere.”
彭兰树木农场经营着开往圣诞树地的干草车, sending families out with saws to cut their own trees and the elves take care of the rest, 摇晃松动的针，包好回家的树. The farm also serves hot chocolate and s’mores around the fire pit and stocks a treasure barn full of ornaments. The goal is to sell trees and provide an experience that visitors will remember long after the season ends.
“家庭传统对我来说非常重要, and a lot of people have memories of going out into the pasture and cutting trees at Christmas,摩西说. “Some families have been coming here for 48 years, and we’re so proud to be part of that tradition.”
Make a fresh cut: Remove a one-half inch disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the Christmas tree in the stand. 把茎切直，不要有角度，也不要切成v型.
提供足够的水:把你的树放在有蓄水池的地方. The National Christmas Tree Association recommends at least one inch of water per inch of stem diameter.
Check water daily: Add fresh water as needed making sure to never let the water level get low. 水的温度不重要.
选择合适的位置:你的圣诞树应该远离壁炉, 热喷口, 便携式加热器, 和其他热源，以尽量减少火灾的风险. 热源也会导致你的树很快变干，缩短它的寿命.
Remember safety tips: Never decorate a tree with worn or frayed light sets; never overload electric circuits; and always turn off the tree lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
回收利用:不要把你的圣诞树送到垃圾填埋场. At the end of the season, Christmas trees can be turned into valuable garden mulch. 寻找可以回收你的树的本地程序.