Christmas Trees

Our pre-cut Fraser Fir  Christmas trees are grown in Alleghany County, North Carolina.  We do not cut them until around Thanksgiving so you can be sure they are the freshest available.  We have trees of every size available; from small 3 foot table-tops to large 13 foot  beauties.  Whatever your size need, we can fill it.

Our Choose & Cut trees are grown in Chatham County.  Our farm  is located at 6581 Hwy 64W, Pittsboro, NC 27312.   

We also carry wreaths,  roping (garland) and bows.  If you do not see what you want in our wreath display, we would be happy to make one to order for you!  We carry white pine, fraser/white pine mix roping in 25 ft. and 50 ft. lengths.

We are a full-service tree farm. We will give your tree a fresh cut and trim branches to fit your stand, give the tree a good shake on our shaker machine to dislodge any stray needles, net the tree and tie it on your vehicle.

Read this nice article from Chapeboro.com:

In homes all across Chatham County, live Christmas trees are gazed upon with wonder by old and young alike as lights and ornaments — and the wrapped presents below — add a festive air to the season.

At Phillips Farm, the work to create future memories has already begun.

While Teri Phillips and her team at Phillips Farm deal with other crops throughout the year — they grow strawberries, pumpkins, hay and more on Hanks Chapel Road — Christmas season is never far away on the almost 15 acres of land they use to cultivate trees that will eventually grace the homes of residences in and around Chatham the next few Decembers.

It was Teri’s husband, Al, who first suggested the idea of growing and selling Christmas trees. He grew up on a farm in Wake County and has spent most of his adult life in the timber industry; today he owns and operates Triangle Forest Products, based in Apex.

Some 20 years ago, however, Al began helping his father sell Fraser firs grown in western North Carolina at a location in Cary. Eventually, Al brought the thought to Terri: why not do the same here in Chatham?

So family began growing and cultivating their own trees their Pittsboro land, bringing in now-33-year-old son Tanner to help out in the operation.

The grounds at Phillips Farm features a sleigh where customers can pose among growing Christmas trees.

“We’ve been open at this location for the past six or seven years, and every year has picked up with more and more people coming to the area,” Tanner said.

Teri and Tanner get help on the day-to-day work from Austin Mathews, who has worked at Phillips Farm since the Christmas tree venture began. It’s Mathews who’s tasked with the planting and cultivating of saplings, working year-round to keep the growing trees trimmed and pruned. And as Thanksgiving approaches and customers begin thinking about putting up a live tree for the holiday season, he helps them choose — and cut — what will eventually be placed at a special spot inside the home and festooned with lights and ornaments and topped with a star of some kind.

The process takes time — many years, in fact.

“Some varieties that grow faster, you [re]plant them when they are younger,” Mathews said. “It really depends on what tree you get — some you [re]plant when they are 1 year old, and some, like the white pines — are 3 years old.”

Long after most of us have discarded our live trees, and our thoughts perhaps turn toward spring and things like summer trips to the beach, it’s Mathews and the Phillipses who are thinking about future Christmases. After planting saplings and ensuring real growth begins, Mathews cuts off parts of disfigured or dying branches and fights off deer and other pests who might want to make a meal of the fledgling trees.

“Trees need to be fertilized, trimmed and taken care of all year,” Mathews said. “If it is tilted, you have to make it straight again; you have to make sure there is a solid growing structure, and you have to do that for every tree, every year.”

‘They’re so happy because it’s Christmas’

Aside from the popular Fraser firs — with their dark, glossy-green foliage of dark needles supported by strong branches — grown in Alleghany County and brought to Chatham, Phillips Farm grows Eastern White Pine and Leland Cypress trees. The white pines feature soft, bluish-green needles; the cypress trees are also used as ornamental plantings.

Customers have the choice of picking one of the pre-cut Fraser trees from the main lot, or they can venture to the vast fields to pick one for the farming staff to cut down. From there, Tanner and Mathews will work on cutting the trees down, shaking the loose pine needles from the trees, wrapping them in netting and then loading them onto customers’ cars.

Teri said the busiest time for them this Christmas season was the first few days they opened the lot for business the weekend after Thanksgiving. About 300 people came to pick out their tree during that weekend alone.

“It was really crazy that first weekend, and it has just gotten a little slower as you go through the season,” she said.

By Christmas Eve, Phillips Farm usually sells close to 800 Christmas trees. To accommodate the increase in foot traffic on that opening weekend, the Phillipses employ students from around the county to help with the extra workload.

“There’s a lot of handwork that has to get done that we can’t handle,” Mathews said. “So we have high school and college kids help out during that time.”

Among the thousands of tree Phillips Farm has sold over the years are the 15-foot-tall Christmas trees displayed in front of the historic Chatham County Courthouse for the last few years, placed by the town of Pittsboro.

Phillips Farm operates as a family-owned business, with Teri and Tanner managing most of the administrative duties. And while the Christmas season is stressful at times, Teri said she was thankful to be able to work with Tanner and see more of his wife, Brittany and her 13-month-old grandson, Rhett.

“I get to see my son and his baby more, and that’s always fun,” Teri said. “Sometimes it’s stressful and everybody has shorter tempers, but it’s good.”

“Everybody has their other jobs too, so this on top of what people normally do is stressful,” Tanner added.

Despite the hectic nature the Christmas season brings, Mathews said the best part of the season is the cheerful attitude people have while picking out their Christmas tree.

“Everyone’s always in such a good mood,” he said. “It’s the holiday season and people are happy.”

For Teri, one of the best things about being a part of the Christmas tree farm is seeing many of the same families come back every year — and the connections that come with people who make it part of a family tradition to pick out a live tree.

“I love talking to the people who come here because they’re so happy because it’s Christmas,” Teri said. “I get to see people come every year with their kids and see them grow up. That’s probably the best part.”

This article first appeared at Chapelboro.com on December 26, 2021