By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
This is part of a continuing series of articles on Christmas traditions in Northeast Mississippi.
While artificial Christmas trees have grown in popularity, the traditional way of getting a tree is alive and well in Northeast Mississippi.
A handful of Christmas tree farms dot the area, allowing families to select and cut the trees of their choice for the holiday.
Most tree farms open a week before Thanksgiving to allow customers to “tag” the trees they want.
On Thanksgiving weekend through a few days before Christmas, customers come back to the tree farms to get their tagged tree.
“Live” tree fans don’t have to pre-tag a tree in order to buy one, but the tagging allows them to get their choice of trees.
The most popular trees available are Leyland Cypress, which grow well in Mississippi’s climate.
The tree farms also have other varieties available, such as Virginia Pine, Eastern White Pine, Carolina Sapphire and Eastern Red Cedar.
Some tree farms also have other Christmas decorations for sale, including wreaths and garlands.
Many also make available sleigh rides, hot chocolate, cider and other snacks and refreshments.
Customers can cut the trees themselves, but typically, tree farm owners and employees cut down the trees and bring them back. The trees are baled, put in or on top of vehicles and tied down.
Operating hours vary at each farm, so it’s best to call before going.