Spillman’s Christmas Tree Farm prepares trees for upcoming holiday

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SOPHIA, N.C. -- The silence of a Randolph County morning is broken when Darrell Spillman starts his auger.

Spillman and his son walk across the field, drilling out the dirt and leaving holes wide enough to fit a Christmas tree.

"It takes a lot of patience and understanding that sometimes you are going to lose crop," Spillman said. "That's just a part of farming in general."

Spillman runs Spillman's Christmas Tree Farm in Sophia.

This month, he is planting up to 750 popular Piedmont Christmas trees like Green Giants, Leyland Cypresses and Murray Cypresses.

He gives his trees a head start by planting them in the nursery first before transferring them to the field.

"These, coming out of the ground, they have a gallon size root ball," Spillman said. "So they have a better chance of surviving and growing."

This year, the young trees stayed in the nursery longer because it was drier than normal.

"Normally, we would have this done in the first of October," Spillman said. "It was so dry, you couldn't dig in the ground. Hard as a brick. I was extremely thankful when the rain came last week."

It will take about 6 years for these young trees to grow to an ideal Christmas tree height.

While he waits, Spillman focuses on a field of mature trees. He starts up his trimmer and begins giving the taller trees a shape up, creating that familiar cone shape we associate with Christmas trees.

"It will be great out here," Spillman said. "On opening day, the parking lot will be full, people parked all the way down the road to the barn. A huge amount of people in here."

Opening day at Spillman's Christmas Tree Farm is Friday, Nov. 29.

North Carolina is a top Christmas tree producer with over 20% of all real trees coming from our state.

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