Many options for real Christmas trees

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Around this time of year, some folks do their Christmas tree preparations by retrieving their fake tree from the garage or shed, unfolding it from its dusty cardboard box and matching up the color-coded branches to the corresponding slots on the fake tree’s “trunk.”

Others, however, prefer the smell of a real tree. Or, perhaps, the enjoyment they gain from using a real tree is derived from the fact it’s one of the few products that can be purchased these days that was, in fact, made in America. Fake plastic trees — not so much.

Here in Suffolk, there are several options to get a real tree while supporting local family businesses and charities. There are at least two civic organizations selling trees this year, and several family-owned Christmas tree farms within the city offer the traditional option of cutting your own tree.

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The Suffolk Elks Lodge and the Knights of Columbus Suffolk Council both are doing brisk business seven days a week for the next couple weeks. They offer a variety of sizes, types and prices and are open late for the convenience of their customers. Best of all, they’re giving the proceeds to local charities, including the Suffolk News-Herald’s Cheer Fund, food pantries, the Salvation Army, the homeless shelter and youth sports teams.

As local resident Anna Dreiling told me at the Knights of Columbus lot on Black Friday, explaining why she didn’t get her tree from a retail store, “They have much better quality, and it goes to charity.”

I’d encourage everyone who can to get a tree from one of these organizations or local farms. Both civic clubs’ trees came from Pennsylvania, so you know the trees and all the jobs associated with them are right here in America. Plus, they were just cut the week before Thanksgiving, so you know they’re fresh.

The Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association also lists two tree farms in Suffolk, Santa’s Forest and Victory Acres. The same principles as above also apply here, only magnified — trees obtained from a farm in Suffolk support local small businesses, and they’re even fresher than those you get at the other lots.

Santa’s Forest on Carolina Road can be reached at 986-2213.

The Victory Acres farm on O’Kelly Drive can be reached at 647-3550.

The Knights of Columbus are selling Fraser and Douglas firs between 6 and 12 feet tall for prices ranging from $39 to $90. The lot is located at 1202 N. Main St. Club members will put a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree, bale it, load it onto your vehicle and tie it down. The lot is open Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

The Elks Lodge is selling 6-7 foot Canaan firs and 7-8 foot Fraser firs for between $45 and $50. The lot is located at 329 W. Constance Road. It is open Monday through Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.