Family travels long distance to sell Christmas trees

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It’s that time again! Vehicles topped with fresh cut Christmas trees ride the roads. Some buy from local tree farms. Others have a different tradition, one formed more than a decade ago.

Just like a giant peppermint drop, the big red and white striped tent looms beside Highway 280 in Brook Highland. The tent has become a seasonal landmark. Inside are fresh cut Frazier firs–Christmas trees and wreaths taken from the five farms in Western North Carolina owned by Lisa and Bob Daniels. It’s a scene right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

“We arrived yesterday [Thanksgiving] and have been coming here for 15 years.” Lisa Daniels smiled.

A customer waiting for her tree to be trimmed joined in the conversation.

“I’d given up on live Christmas trees until I found the Daniels. Their trees stay the freshest, last forever,” she exclaimed, “Just give them a drink of water.”

Lisa Daniels concurred. Some dread those messy dropping needles, but live trees can also be a serious fire hazard. Precaution must be taken. If you’ve ever set a match to an evergreen you know what I mean. Whoosh! It ignites like gasoline. Each winter house fires happen, but common sense goes a long way to prevent them. Here are some tips:

uGive a fresh cut tree lots of water.

uNever place near a heat source and avoid smoking near tree.

uInspect tree lights for frayed wires, gaps in insulation; never overload electrical outlets.

uDon’t place candles near combustible materials.

uUse nonflammable decorations and never place near a fireplace.

uNever burn Christmas wrap in fireplace.

uInstall and monitor smoke alarms; practice an escape plan.

Whether or not you choose a live tree, drop in on the Daniels family and wish them Merry Christmas.

Gladys Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at