Green Friday: Relishing tradition, families cut fresh Christmas trees

christmas tree car roof
A freshly cut Christmas tree is on its way home. The day after Thanksgiving is popular for tree hunters. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

While many in our area spend the day after Thanksgiving sniffing for Black Friday deals, others would rather inhale clean, country air.

“Black Friday is very busy for us,” said Ricky Hoybach, owner of Country Loving Christmas Tree Farm in Leesburg, Virginia.

With sunny skies, calm winds and some wearing red and white Christmas hats, customers chose their evergreen tree the day after Thanksgiving because it’s what they did with their parents.

“Every year, my mom and dad brought a new Christmas tree, so we’re just keeping their tradition going,” said one father, whose young child was riding on his shoulders.

Hoybach said many choose the same kind of tree every year.

“We grow the white pine, which is a long needle, soft Christmas tree. We grow the Scotch pine, which has a stiff, round needle, popular with people with heavier ornaments,” he said. “We grow a Norway spruce, with a very short, flat needle. And we grow eastern red cedar, which smells like the cedar chips in a hamster cage — very fragrant.”

The father with his son on his shoulders said the type of tree doesn’t matter. He’s looking for a 10-footer: “As long as it has the height, so they can get on a ladder and decorate it — they have a lot of fun doing that.”

One mother, who was at the farm with her young adult children, grew up in California but began cutting her own trees when she moved to the East Coast. In the past, the family has cut their trees closer to Dec. 25.

“They came home for Thanksgiving, and I wanted as much Christmas as I can get, so we’re here today, on the first day,” she said.

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