Internship Experience

During the challenges of 2020 and COVID 19, my internship was challenging. Finally in the fall, I began visiting a few farms in Ashe County. I also had the opportunity to visit the Fraser Fir Seed Production Area at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, VA. In this orchard, there are 600 Fraser Fir trees in a fenced area managed by growers in the local area. This includes growers from Ashe and Alleghany counties. I learned that the Fraser Fir is native only to the highest elevations of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. It makes a perfect Christmas tree due to its beauty and needle retention.
As my internship moved forward, I visited farms that specialized in nursery, landscaping, and retail markets. The evergreen trees were in different stages of growth and production.
Eventually, I was invited to visit farms in the eastern part of NC where I was surprised by the beauty of the Leyland Spruce and Green Giant varieties of Christmas trees. I told one farmer that as a mountain girl I would always be partial to the Fraser Fir, but he could almost sway me to the Leyland Spruce. They were gorgeous!
Fraser Firs are still the most popular Christmas tree in NC with a representation of 99% of all species grown in NC.