• 77°

The year of the perfect Christmas tree

Tree time

Clint Euchner, Will Holladay and Corey Stiller  set up Fraser firs at Godley’s Garden Center. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

Clint Euchner, Will Holladay and Corey Stiller set up Fraser firs at Godley’s Garden Center. Jon C. Lakey/Salisbury Post

By Rebecca Rider


Nothing brings out the Christmas spirit quite like a fir tree. Whether it’s bought at a store or cut from a lot, each tree is chosen with care.

Children race down the aisles of branches with excitement, eager to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. And while parents may have an eye on price and size, they’re looking for the perfect tree, too.

Corey Stiller, the nursery manager at Godley’s Garden Center on Statesville Boulevard, says that people look for symmetry and full branches when picking out a tree. They want a good shape that will fill the space, but isn’t too tall.

This year, he says, sales have been good at Godley’s. Their Christmas tree lot has only been up for two weeks, but they’ve already had to make three trips up to West Jefferson in Ashe County for more trees.

Charlie Smith at Rufty’s Garden Shop on West Innes agrees that sales have been brisk. They’ve sold out of wreaths, and the trees are going fast.

“We’ve had an excellent year already on trees,” he said.

Lately, Thanksgiving weekend has been a popular time for tree-buying. Parents with kids in college want to buy a tree and decorate it while the whole family is together.

While artificial trees were all the rage a few years ago, Smith says that lately, the pendulum is swinging back towards a live tree. People can’t resist the clean, piney scent and the beautiful, full branches.

And in North Carolina, a Fraser Fir is the way to go.

“It’s the most popular kind there is,” Smith said.

Faser firs will only grow at elevations that exceed 3,000 feet above sea level, which makes the mountains of North Carolina a great place for tree farmers. Fraser firs grown in N.C. are shipped all over the country, Smith said.

And tree quality is high this year.

“Everything’s a number one,” Smith said.

Some people, however, may prefer pine or spruce to fir. If that’s the case, they can swing by Pinetop farm on Majolicka Road. Pinetop is a cut-your-own tree farm that sells pine and spruce trees.

River Ridge, located in front of the J.F. Hurley YMCA, sells white pine and fir hybrids in addition to the classic fraser.

A tree can make or break Christmas, so sellers work hard to make sure that people are happy with their tree.

Smith has been working at Rufty’s since 1980, and says that if he knows what a customer wants in a tree, he’ll hand-pick it for them and hold it till they come to pick it up. Godley’s will trim a tree down, make sure the base cut is flat and deliver.

For Michael Blowers at River Ridge, it’s all about the people. Blowers is from West Jefferson, but comes to Salisbury to sell trees every December.

“This is one of the things I look forward to,” he said.

He loves meeting the people and families, and learning their stories. And while he doesn’t own the trees, he has permission to donate a few.

“You gotta believe in people,” he said.

He says he picks one local charity every year to give a tree to. The leftovers he donates to local Boy Scout troops for crappie habitats or to local hunters for duck blinds. For Blowers, that makes the season.

“It really is just about giving, not receiving,” Blowers said.

If you haven’t purchased a Christmas tree yet, here are some options:


River Ridge in front of J.F. Hurley YMCA on Jake Alexander

Tree prices: $20 to $120


Rufty’s Garden Shop, 1335 W Innes St.

Tree prices: $20 to $100


Icicle Mountain, next to the Shell gas station on Jake Alexander Boulevard West

Tree prices: $25 to $100


Variety Produce 415 W Main St., Rockwell

Tree prices: $30-$35


Father and Son Produce Market, 1774 Sherrills Ford Road

Tree prices: $15-$100


Godley’s Garden Center and Nursery, 2281 Statesville Blvd.

Tree prices: $30-$195


Pinetop Tree Farm, 830 Majolica Road

Open Saturday Dec. 5 from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m. only.


Christmas trees can also be purchased at Lowe’s Home Improvement, Walmart and Food Lion locations around Rowan County.



Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives


Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening


Funding flat, enrollment down slightly for Rowan-Salisbury Schools


Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year


China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis


Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine


Blotter: Sept. 18


County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported


Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally


Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate


Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000


Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home


Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing


Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies




Landis officials provide plan for COVID-19 funds, discuss town’s financial position


Blattner brought technology into schools before it was cool


State has slight decline in SAT scores


New environmental specialists begin work on backlog soil evaluations


Friends, colleagues say Seay left his mark on Rowan judicial system


Rep. Howard says ‘still work to be done’ as she seeks 17th term in House


Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon


‘Nothing left in the bucket’: Wildfire resources run thin