Photo by Elaine Rackley: The McKenzie family chose a live Christmas tree this year to display in their home. The tree is a Fraser Fir. The family bought it at the Tomato Patch in McDonough.
Paige and Sean McKenzie’s children circled a maze of Christmas trees as they helped their parents select one.
“Fraser Firs are the best-looking real trees,” said Sean McKenzie. The couple selected a tree on display at the Tomato Patch store, with the help of their 5-year-old twin daughters, Peyton and Avery, along with their 3-year-old son, Liam.
Debbie Woods, co-owner of the Tomato Patch store, said she only has 100 Fraser fir trees available at her store, located at 917 Ga. Hwy. 81 West, in McDonough. It is the only type of Christmas tree she sells.
“They are the best kind, because they do not shed as bad as the other trees,” she said, adding that she has sold 50 since the weekend.
As Christmas celebrations draw nearer, Jim Butler, owner of Homestead Christmas Tree Farm, is preparing for brisk business. He also maintains the Georgia Christmas Tree Association’s web site.
Henry County has more tree farms than any other county in the state, according to Butler. Many are located in the rural areas of Hampton. Some are in Stockbridge near the Clayton and DeKalb county borders.
“We have a farm-finder map which shows the location of all of the tree farms in the state of Georgia,” said Butler. “Henry County has so many tree farms that their icons overlay each other on the map.”
Butler has owned his 10-acre tree farm for 19 years. It is located at 3850 Ga. Hwy. 81 West, In Hampton. He said he has nearly 5,000 trees planted, with 3,000 available for purchase.
“We have quite a few different varieties of trees, our most popular is the Leyland Cypress,” he said. According to Butler, the forest green, Leyland cypress has replaced Virginia pines, in popularity. “After I bought the Christmas farm in 1992, around 1997, the Leyland Cypress became quite popular, I actually sold out. At that time, I only had one field of Leyland Cypress planted, and back then, many of the other tree farmers didn’t have any planted.”
Other prominent Henry County Christmas tree farms are: Worthington Tree Farm, located at 145 Twin Oaks Drive; Fourakre Christmas Tree Farm, located at 13887 Upper Woolsey Road; Brown's Christmas Tree Farm, located at 86 Minter Drive, and Dorsey Plant Farm
located at, 2021 Mount Carmel Road, all in the Hampton area.
Stockbridge also has Yule Forest, located at 3565 Ga. Hwy. 155 North; Yule Forest Inc., located at 1220 Millers Mill Road; and Sugarland Tree Farm, located at 3933 Ga. Hwy. 155 North.