Individually Hand Pruned to Decorate

On your way to our farm, you pass a lot of other Christmas tree farms. Just a few days ago as I pulled into our farm, I noticed how the dew on the trees glittered in the morning sunlight. The sunlight accented the natural growth and reminded me of how different our trees look from all the neighbors.

Sam Cartner’s vision, since 1959, has always been to “grow a tree to decorate.” You’ll recognize the Cartner Blue Ridge Fraser fir by the long natural branches that give our trees a lacy and elegant look. We do not put our trees through a “pencil sharpener.”

Before we prune our trees, we selectively choose the best trees out of the field and then prune them accordingly. The above picture demonstrates our pruning process for those selected for harvest.

First, we tip the outer most branches that are too long or out of place leaving the natural appearance.

Second, because each tree in unique, we cut the leader to the best height that suits the tree.

As a result, the tree is natural and open. You are able to decorate the inside and outside of the tree because of the added demension and depth.

We are certain our Fraser Firs will exceed your expectations, proving to be a great success for you. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Trees supplied for LL Bean Photo Shoots

We received an order again from LL Bean again this year for their numerous photo shoots accross the country. We shipped trees to Sun Valley, ID, Breckenridge, CO and of course, Freeport, ME. It has been a pleasure to work with them again. This is one of the pictures they sent me after the shoot.

Sometimes while browsing these types of magazines, my wife and I catch ourselves saying things like, “I wish it would snow this Christmas.” “Those dogs are so cute.” Or something like, “I wish I had this or that.”

I guess it didn’t dawn on me that we really do have so much more than we realize until this exact scene played out on the farm during the choose and cut season last year. There was a couple that came up from South Carolina with their two dogs. The dogs ran around the farm playing and having a great time with everyone around. Christmas music was in the air. Hot chocolate steamed in everyone’s mits. There was even snow on the ground to top it off.

We don’t have the picture perfect life all the time but the North Carolina mountains sure are a beautiful place to live and work.

Be sure to come and see us this year. The Farm is open Thanksgiving Day and every day thereafter from 8:00 am until dark (around 5:00 pm). You can walk through the farm and choose your own tree.

We offer warm inside accommodations, refreshments, restrooms, and weekend Santa Claus visits. Our staff will help you cut the tree and load it into your car.

The farm’s address is: 901 Balsam Drive Newland, North Carolina 28657.

Coastal Living with a Mountain Tree

Thanks to the guys at Coastal Living HQ for the great pictures. It was a pleasure working with you.

We have differentiated ourselves from the competition by leaving long sturdy branches giving a tree more demension and depth after decorating.

These pictures found in the December/January 2010 COASTAL LIVING Magazine capture the essense of the “Cartner Difference” with the lacy and elegant branching pattern.

We do not “pencil sharpen” our trees, rather we leave the long natural growth on the tree the last year or two before it is harvested.

Click here for directions to the farm.


Busy, Busy, Busy

I thought I would be able to update the blog more often than I did over the past few weeks. We have been busy, busy, busy! Our wholesale shipping has just about wrapped up and I want to thank all of our customers, especially our new customers. Welcome to the family and we hope you have a terrific year. Remember, nothing says Christmas like a Blue Ridge Fraser Fir!

The farm is now officially open for families to come and visit to pick out your own tree. There are directions to the farm under the Pick Your Own Tree selection to the left. Enjoy hot apple cider or hot cocoa with a selection of cookies. There are warm accommodations with restrooms available as well.

Maybe the cold wind and the frigid snow showers we had yesterday scared you away from the farm. Don’t forget that you can also order a Christmas tree in the warmth of your own home to be delivered to you just in time for your big party or get together! Visit our Order Online page to learn more.

We would like to see your trees after they have been decorated. Email us pictures of your trees.

Mast General Store Partnership

The Cartner Christmas Tree Farm has developed a tradition of quality and perfection. Our quality speaks for itself beginning with our former partnership with the Neiman Marcus Mailorder Catalog to being featured as one of the top 5 best Christmas tree Mailorder businesses in America by the Wall Street Journal.

We also provide numerous trees to companies for photoshoots like NASCAR, Cottage Living Magazine, and Peir One Studios.

Look for our trees to be featured in photoshoots this year in the LL Bean Christmas Catalog, Coastal Living Magazine, and Venus Women’s Wear Magazine.

This year we are also excited to announce our new partnership with the Mast General Store. They will have our trees and wreaths available on their website for sale. Don’t miss an opportunity to live the tradition of the mountains this holiday season with a beautiful Cartner Blue Ridge Fraser Fir from the Mast General Store!

History of the Cartner Christmas Tree Farm

Nothing has described the birth of the Christmas tree industry in North Carolina any better than this statement from an article published in the Mountain Times by Scott Nicholson. He wrote, “When Sam Cartner and a few others set out their first Christmas tree seedlings in 1959, more than one of their farming neighbors thought they were crazy. Now, [fifty] years later, they have realized that Cartner was crazy like a fox, and many of them have gone into the business themselves.

During the trying times of the forties and on into the fifties, Sam Cartner struggled with the great responsibility of assisting local farmers as an Extension Agent. The primary crops in the North Carolina Mountains at the time were cabbage and beans, and of course some farmers had cattle. Sam said of those times, “It was just so uncertain. If you hit, you hit, and if you missed, you missed. There were very few options for farmers, and getting money from their land was looking harder and harder to do. We were just looking for something we could use this steep, rough land for to give people an extra source of income.”

With little else to do, Sam and a very few others decided that if they were going to stay in business, they better grow what God put on these mountains. In 1959, Sam started his own production of Christmas trees and along with 4 others signed into existence the charter for the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association.

Today the High Country of North Carolina is famous for its Christmas tree industry. North Carolina produces over 19% of the Real Christmas Trees in the United States. The Fraser fir is also the most popular Christmas tree in North America and is shipped into every state in the United States as well as other countries all over the world.

The Cartner Christmas Tree Farm has grown immensely since 1959 and is still owned and operated by the Cartner Family. It is located in Newland, North Carolina.

First real cold snap brings a taste of winter!

This weekend brought a great surprise for those excited for the new fall and winter seasons! But it also served an additional incentive for the seasonal residents to pack a little quicker.

Since that initial cold front passed through this weekend, I wake up each morning now to see the wood smoke settled in the valley here. I love that smell. It really signals that fall is here and winter is not far. I burn wood myself and I have come to recognize the different types of wood a home might be burning as I drive by.

The cold weather also means that Christmas tree harvest is just around the corner. I was in Lowe’s in Boone on Tuesday and I have to report that their artificial Christmas trees have already been “cut” and put on display. They get earlier every year it seems! Don’t worry though, we don’t cut our live trees too early.

Visit our Choose & Cut page on our website for directions to the farm.

One last note, Ray has made his Winter 2009-2010 Winter Forecast for the region and guess what? More cold and snow is on the way.