Troop 99 begins selling Christmas trees next week

Published 7:17 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

For some Washington-area residents, the Christmas season kicks off with them buying Christmas trees from Boy Scout Troop 99. For them, that season begins Wednesday.

“We’re getting our trees … Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.,” said Dal Newbold, troop committee chairman. The Fraser firs are being provided by Weaver Tree Farms in West Jefferson, according to Newbold.

Troop 99 switched to Weaver Tree Farms several years ago after long-time provider Harry Yates retired from growing Christmas trees.

Brian Miller, the troop’s new Scoutmaster, is overseeing this year’s tree sales.

“I’ve bought from Troop 99 when we (his family) first moved back here. I’m an Eagle Scout from Troop 99 when I was a kid. We’ve bought from them off and on throughout the years, if we caught it on time. They’ve been doing it at least 10 years, maybe a little bit more,” Miller said.

When the trees arrive Tuesday, Scouts and their leaders will unload them and arrange them on the sales lot at the intersection of Pierce and West 15th streets and next to Inner Banks Dental.

Miller said the prices of the Christmas tree srange from $50 to $125, depending upon size. “I think they’ve been pretty constant and consistent with those prices over the last several years,” he said.

The sales schedule follows:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 21, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • No sales Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.
  • Friday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 25 through Thursday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Sunday through Thursday hours, Friday hours and Saturdays hours will continue until all the trees are sold, Miller said. “They figure the first 10 days most of them will be gone,” he said.

Buying a Christmas tree from the Scouts is a tradition for some area residents. The Scouts with Troop 99 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.

Scouts work at the lot, doing various tasks such 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 Frazer firs as the best evergreens 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 1,300 growers produce an estimated 50 million Fraser firs on about 40,000 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.

The North Carolina Fraser fir has been judged the nation’s best through a contest sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association and chosen for the official White House Christmas tree 12 times (more than any other species) — 1971, 1973, 1982, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012.

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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