Although Frasier Fir trees have become the quintessential "Christmas tree," the trees do not just needing tending to in the months of November and December. These trees, like any other growing plant, need attention frequently throughout the year. To nurture the trees so that they grow to their full potential, Rash's Tree Patch employs a number of local individuals to help take care of the trees during the year.
If you have ever taken care of a garden or a yard, you know the importance of keeping the area free of weeds. In addition to being unappealing, weeds rob the soil of the essential nutrients needed to sustain other growing plants- in this case- Christmas trees. Year-round employees at the Rash family farm in West Jefferson, NC keep the trees free of weeds so that they can grow in to their full potential.
If you have ever shopped at our lot in Winston-Salem, you have probably noticed the colored ribbons on the top of each tree. Believe it or not, the ribbons you see are the second set of ribbons placed on the trees. Ribbons are first placed on each tree in July. During that time, we measure the height of each tree and determine the readiness of the tree to be sold to customers. While two trees may be similar in height, one may take more time to fill-out.
After trees have been tagged to be sold to customers, we prune each tree. We like to call this "giving the trees a haircut." The trees that have been tagged to be sold at Christmas time will receive a "smaller haircut" than those that will be staying for another year or so to develop. On the trees ready to be sold, we cut limbs back just enough so that they are able to hold larger ornaments, while still maintaining the perfect Christmas tree shape. As Kevin Barnard, longtime worker-and-friend, says, "this tree has ornament opportunities galore!" Whereas, on the trees that will continue to grow for a few more years, we cut limbs back further to help the tree achieve the ideal Christmas tree shape.
After the trees have been trimmed, we then select, in October, a variety of different sizes and shapes of trees to be sent to the various venues. Did you know that in addition to selling trees in Winston-Salem, NC, Rash's Tree Patch sells trees to a number of places in the southeast? Wherever there are Rash's trees, rest assured that you will be able to find your perfect tree, whether it is tall and triangular or stout and full.
Finally, the holidays are right around the corner. The first batch of trees to be sold in late November are cut just before Thanksgiving, selectively cut from the fields. Afterwards, we plant one tree for every tree that we cut.
The rest is history. We set up the lot just before Thanksgiving, and the first load of trees comes in the day before Thanksgiving. As usual, we partake in our annual tradition of broken Christmas lights and warped support boards, but, after the initial setup of the lot, everyone always has a lot of fun on "the lot!"
We look forward to seeing you this Christmas!