November 23, 2016- Monroe, N.C.- Tucked away in the rolling hills of Stanly County, sits Almond’s Christmas Tree Farm. With a bustling business including acres of cattle, blackberries and honeybees, Earl Almond has decided to take his operation year round by adding Christmas trees to the mix.
As a member of Union Power Cooperative, imagine the surprise to learn of a Christmas Tree farm in the five-county service territory. In fact, Almond Farms will be the only Christmas Tree farm located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. With White Pines, Leland’s, Virginia Pines and Carolina Sapphires, Earl hopes to add to see new growth as he adds Christmas trees to his business. Started on family land, he has entered his second and perhaps, most favorite career as a farmer. With an already successful beef cattle and blackberry business, Almond stated he “needed something to do in the winter, and trees were a perfect fit”! Planting his first tree five years ago, this year he has an estimated 150 trees ready to brighten someone’s home for the holidays.
Christmas tree farming can be a big challenge as Earl has discovered. While planting 300 trees each year, he claims only about half will survive. With pests like fungus and deer, getting a tree to maturity is no easy task. Thankful for the support and assistance from the Eastern NC Christmas Tree Growers Association, specifically a Plant Pathologist, a Soil Scientist and Marketing personnel, Earl has become a scientist of sorts as he is now experimenting with grafting various tree types together to create the perfect full tree.
With an opening date of Friday, November 24th, 2016, visitors to the farm won’t be disappointed as items like honey, Earl’s special BBQ sauce, jellies, wreaths, kissing balls and mailbox huggies, will be available for purchase. Visitors to the farm will also get a glimpse of Earl’s Smoke House, opening sometime next year. With hickory wood chopped from trees on the farm, this operation is sure to provide a bit of something for all ages while visiting the farm.
Union Power Cooperative is pleased to add another local business to its member list. And what a treat to have a Christmas tree farm in our own backyard.