Christmas trees of all varieties, heights and prices are available in Alexander City and nearby counties, like these available at Bette’s Garden Center, which also features wreaths handmade from the tree trimmings. Live Christmas trees offer a unique scent and are a part of many families’ yearly traditions. | Alison James

Archived Story

Sprucing up for the holidays

Published 12:27pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

People looking to “spruce” up their homes for Christmas – those who are starting to “pine” for a little holiday cheer – have a number of options in Alexander City to find the perfect Christmas tree.

“There’s something about a fresh cut tree that provides the unique scent that a lot of people do like,” said Shane Harris, Tallapoosa County regional extension agent.

For a fresh-cut tree, the Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm at 3071 Dexter Road in Wetumpka and the Christmas in Dixie Tree Farms at 5675 Bull Gap Road in Goodwater are nearby choices.

“You come out here to the farm – we’ve got the bonfire going all day, the hot chocolate and the hayride,” said Frank Wadsworth, owner of the Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm.

Wadsworth said last year they had more than 1,000 people come out to buy a tree.

John Williams at the Goodwater farm said they typically stay busy each weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“You come and get a saw,” Williams said. “You go out in the field and walk around and find one you want.”

Williams said he thinks people enjoy cutting down their own tree to get the freshest option.

“It hasn’t been cut for four or five weeks and already dried out,” Williams said.

Christmas in Dixie Tree Farms offers the Leyland Cypress, the Eastern Redcedar and the Carolina Sapphire Cypress. Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm offers Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, Arizona Cypress, Eastern Redcedar, Murray Cypress and pre-cut Fraser Firs and Black Hill Spruce.

Pre-cut trees are also available in a number of locations in Alexander City, including Home Depot, Walmart and Bette’s Garden Center.

“Unfortunately in this day and time people are very limited on selection,” Harris said. “These things are cut fairly early in the season and they’re shipped down here. The Fraser firs do hold up a little better for a while, but any kind of plant that has been freshly cut … is going to dry out and turn brown and can become a fire hazard.”

Stores are making efforts, however, to keep the pre-cut trees – most of which are shipped from North Carolina, according to several businesses – as fresh as possible.

“Our trees are cut the day before they’re shipped, and then we keep them in water out here so they stay fresh,” said Bette Anderson, owner of Bette’s Garden Center. “We sold a lot of trees on Thanksgiving Day.”

Wadsworth said he thinks going to get a Christmas tree is part of the holiday tradition for many families.

“It’s all about making memories,” Wadsworth said. “Sometimes that’s worth more than selling the tree.”

When it comes to choosing the perfect Christmas tree, Harris said it comes down to preference – a truth that tree farmers have seen when people come to cut down their own tree.

“We sold one yesterday about 3-foot tall, and we sold one yesterday about 14-foot tall,” Williams said.

Live trees range in price from $30 to more than $100.

To help keep a pre-cut tree fresh and avoid fire hazards, Harris recommended cutting some of the stump off once the tree has been purchased. The original cut may have calloused over by the time of purchase and would not absorb water as well.

For more information about Christmas tree prices and availability, contact a local supplier.