Finally went to get a Christmas tree today - very late, but no matter, the tree is as fresh as they get. One of the benefits of country living. We don't get our trees from a store lot, but rather Macey's Christmas Tree farm, just a couple miles away, on Stampers Bay Road. There are acres of white pine, Scotch pine (my choice), Canadian fir, Norway spruce, blue ice, Leyland cypress, all nicely lined up, and well spaced so they grow evenly. It can take me a while to choose my tree, there are so many beautiful ones, but once I'd made my selection, I could just let Macey's folks do the work. They cut the tree, then hauled it off on wheels to the stand where they shake the tree to get all the loose and dead needles and branches off. It's very effective. [The first photo shows them with my tree after shaking it.] Then the tree trunk is bored deeply enough to sit securely on the tree stand's spike. I asked for the bottom six inches of branches to be sawn off: no problem. Then onto a bed where the tree is quickly wrapped in netting, all snug and easy to transport.
Home and immediately onto the stand in the living room, warm water in the basin. I went with a smaller tree this year, just 6' - last year's was up to the ceiling. But it's nearly as wide as it is tall, and we think it's beautiful. I wouldn't consider getting a tree from anywhere else, as long as I'm here in Virginia. Oh, and what did we pay? $34 for that 6-footer. I know my city-dwelling friends will envy that.