Picture it: snow blows gently through the air, and you’re wrapped up tight in a heavy coat and scarf as your family piles into the car and heads out to find the perfect Christmas tree. Holiday music plays softly on the radio, and everything is perfect and beautiful.
Memories like this are treasured moments preserved in time and cherished. A new tree farm, Potts Creek Tree Farm in Waiteville, is preparing to be the local destination for creating such iconic winter moments.
According to the owner, Darla Miller, the idea for this farm began some time ago with one of her clients, Derick Proctor. She said Proctor had a vision of growing Christmas trees, and it became his retirement goal to have a Christmas tree farm. Over the years, the two discussed this goal extensively and eventually decided to become partners.
The farm will officially open for business on Friday, Nov. 25, for its first season. Since seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which are still affecting many, Miller said Proctor felt like people needed a place “to go to and be with family and be outside and enjoy simpler things.”
Miller stated that the farm has three different species of trees from which patrons can choose a favorite. They have blue spruce, Fraser firs and Canaan firs. The Canaan fir is a particularly noteworthy addition as they are essentially a West Virginia Christmas tree. It is native to parts of the Mountain State, and the initial discovery of the variety allegedly occurred in Canaan Valley, W.Va., hence the name.
Many tree farms charge per foot or various other factors. Miller noted that the going rate is $15 per foot. Instead of using that method, Potts Creek Farm charges a flat rate of $65 for all trees. That way, whether the tree is five feet or eight feet tall, patrons do not have to worry about the price.
There are rows and rows of trees that patrons can peruse. The farm has hand saws available for anyone who wants to cut down their tree. Additionally, the farm will bring the tree back down the hill so that the individual or family does not have to drag it. However, if someone does not want to cut their tree or walk through the rows, Miller noted that they would likely have a selection of pre-cut trees available.
Another thing that makes Potts Creek Tree Farm unique is the information provided when someone purchases a tree. Miller’s husband is a firefighter and, as such, is all too familiar with the fire hazard live Christmas trees potentially present. Because of this, the farm is providing patrons with a short list of instructions on fire safety and caring for a live tree. Patrons will notice the addition of a fire truck in the farm’s logo.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), between 2015 and 2019, fire departments in the U.S. responded to an average of 160 home fires per year that began with a Christmas tree. Of those 160 fires, close to one-fifth started due to a heat source being too close to the tree. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment were to blame for nearly half of the fires. Safety tips are vital when it comes to holiday decorating.
Miller said even if you are not in the market for a Christmas tree, consider coming out and enjoying the sights. She said, “It’s a magical place. I think Waiteville is very underrated because it is off the grid, but it’s a beautiful place. We have a pond and trees. It’s a beautiful setting.” Additionally, a small retail display on the farm carries a wide array of hand-crafted items and other wares.
Prepare for your holiday season with a gorgeous tree from Potts Creek Tree Farm. The farm is on Route 17 in Waiteville, only minutes from the Swinging Bridge Restaurant in Paint Bank. For more information, the farm has an active Facebook group under the farm’s name.
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