Scouts getting prepared for Christmas tree sales

Published 5:47 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

Another area tradition continues Monday when Boy Scout Troop 99 begins its annual sale of Christmas trees.

The Fraser firs are expected to arrive Sunday, according to Dal Newbold, Scoutmaster for Troop 99. That means Scouts and their adult leaders will be unloading the trees and arranging them on the sales lot as soon as the fresh-cut trees arrive at the usual spot at the intersection of Pierce and West 15th streets and next to Inner Banks Dental.

Josh Ingram, assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 99, said the trees will be sold from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. No trees will be sold Thanksgiving Day. After Thanksgiving, the lot hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.

“We will sell them until we run out,” Ingram said, adding the prices for the trees begin at $50 for a tree that’s about 4 feet tall and up to about $120 for a tree a little more than 10 feet tall.

Buying a Christmas tree from the Scouts is a tradition for some area residents. The Scouts, sponsored by Washington’s First United Methodist Church, do more than unload and sell the trees. They trim them, put stands on them and load them into or onto customers’ vehicles.

As of last year, the troop has a new Christmas tree supplier. Its former supplier, Harry Yates’ Christmas tree farm, retired after last year’s Christmas tree season,

Scouts work at the lot, doing various tasks such as trimming lower branches from the trees to improve the trees’ appearance. They use the money earned by working at the lot to pay for activity fees and summer camp.

The North Carolina Christmas Tree Association, which touts Fraser firs as the best evergreen to serve as Christmas trees, notes North Carolina’s Christmas tree industry ranks second in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested and in cash receipts for those trees. At least 1,500 growers produce an estimated 50 million Fraser firs on about 25,000 acres, according to the association. Fraser firs represent a little over 90 percent of all Christmas tree species grown in the state. Fraser firs are native to North Carolina.

The Fraser fir, according to area Christmas-tree sellers, is the preferred tree bought by area residents. Other tree species sold for use as Christmas trees include white pine, Virginia pine and Norway spruce, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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