Grown Here at Home: Christmas tree farmer in Fincastle shares unique story behind farm

Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 9:16 AM EST
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FINCASTLE, Va. (WDBJ) - All farms have unique stories and Nelson’s Christmas Tree Farm in Fincastle is no different.

“My parents, Page and Nadine Nelson, she was a nurse here in the Roanoke Valley, started this about 30 years ago to keep my father going. He had a heart attack. It kept him busy. My mother was kind of the driving force behind it all,” explained Frank Nelson, co-owner of Nelson’s Christmas Tree Farm.

Frank comes from a family of green thumbs.

“It seemed like there weren’t too many around and it was the obvious choice. So they raised thousands of trees and developed a really good business, and so I decided to continue doing that after they both had passed away,” Frank said.

The journey has been a great one.

“I love the kids and the people coming year after year that we’ve had, and customers that my parents knew. It’s just a fun atmosphere. I’ve never seen anyone come out here in a bad mood,” said Frank.

Although another Christmas season has come and gone, the work is far from over. There’s lots of planting to do.

“I ordered about 500 trees to come in, in March. That’s when we’ll plant. We do try to keep the fields full. So, when we sell trees, you have to replace them,” explained Frank.

Frank says it takes about eight to 10 years for a tree to grow to full size. Some of the trees they’re selling, his mother planted 15 to 20 years ago. A sweet reminder of the family legacy he’s helping to preserve.

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