When the second weekend of November rolls around, people don’t walk, they run to Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree Farms in Waynesville to secure one of their finest Fraser firs to display proudly for the next few weeks. But how did these trees become so popular, and how did the recession of 2008 cause a national Christmas tree shortage? With the help of Darren Nicholson at Boyd Mountain, we’ve got some answers.
Boyd Mountain Tree Farm originally started over a century ago as a side hobby for a local dentist, Dr. Boyd. Now, nearly a hundred years later, his humble tree farm has grown into one of the state’s most popular places to snag a Fraser fir.
Tree farming hobbyists dominate the Christmas tree market due to the economic recession we suffered in 2008. When budgets were tight, people didn’t want to spend their money on Christmas trees, and farmers didn’t want to spend their money growing them. After all, growing Fraser firs is a long-term investment: they grow only one foot a year, and aren’t ready to be cut until they’re six to eight feet tall, so it’s not a quick turnaround. As a result, most tree farms that exist today are the result of hobbyists selling their own Christmas magic.
Darren’s been at Boyd Mountain for about 7 years, so some trees on the farm have actually been there longer than he has. In 2018, Darren and Boyd sold 3,500 Fraser firs in just eight days. That’s eighteen trees sold every hour. But Darren says that the best thing they sell at Boyd isn’t their trees. “It’s the whole experience and a memory with your family you’ll really cherish,” he says. Because during this time of year, the tree farm turns into a winter wonderland, with free hot chocolate and cider, cookies, snacks, and visits from Santa. Even though their choose-and-cut trees are sold out, you can still snag wreaths and other decorative items from their retail lot.
Boyd Mountain also has seven rustic and cozy cabins located on their property that are available to rent year-round. The property itself is full of ways to enjoy the outdoors. There are several hiking trails, fishing ponds, games, and stunning mountain views surrounding the rentals. You can stay in these cabins any time of year, too!
While you’re there, explore some of Darren’s favorite Waynesville activities: skiing at Cataloochee, dining in one of the many mom-and-pop restaurants, or popping into breweries and distilleries. He also loves finding live music, great shopping, and festivals happening all year. “It’s a very organic town with great vibes,” he says—and we couldn’t agree more.
We want to give a huge thank you to Darren Nicholson at Boyd Mountain for helping us write this blog post. His knowledge and love for Waynesville is unmatched!