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Source: Andrew Dye/Journal

BANNER ELK — Thad Taylor has been planting and harvesting Fraser firs on 28 acres of rolling hills in Banner Elk for nearly 25 years.

According to the News and Record, what started out as a hobby has become Big Ridge Tree Farm, where about 60,000 trees are grown at an elevation of 3,600 feet.

Typically, the trees are sold to customers throughout the Southeast who prefer the “choose-and-cut” option for 5- to 12-footers to decorate homes for the holidays.

Although Taylor has embraced the Internet for expanding his business, his bread-and-butter remains repeat and word-of-mouth customers.