Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season will be just as busy a time for some local tree farmers as it is for area retailers.
Loudoun’s Christmas tree farm industry annually brings in roughly $675,000 in sales with 7,500 trees being relocated to living rooms in time for Christmas Eve, according to data from the county’s Department of Economic Development.
That has area farmers hustling to get their properties ready for the crowds that will descend on the tree farms starting Thanksgiving weekend.
For Steven Wolff, the second-generation owner of Snickers Gap Tree Farm west of Round Hill, one of the biggest orders of business is getting the property’s barn transformed into a retail operation. His 120-acre property includes 40 acres of planted trees, with Wolff estimating he has about 36,000 trees in various stages of growth.
It’s been a good year for tree growing, he said, with a “reasonably wet summer” that helps spur growth. He estimated the tree farm expends about 2,500 man hours from in March to the end of October preparing for the holiday tree shopping season.
He said Snickers Gap is typically open about four weekends, beginning with the weekend immediately after Thanksgiving, though he makes a judgment call every year in determining when to close.
Many local nurseries and farm stands also get into the Christmas tree game by taking the tree-cutting labor out of the equation with freshly cut trees, in addition to wreaths and other holiday wares.
For a full rundown on the county’s tree farms, nurseries and garden centers, go to loudounfarms.org.