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Trees are popular this season
Curt Trotter brings a tree to the customer's car Tuesday at the Kinsey Family Farm. - photo by Jennifer Sami
At a glance
Among the places offering Christmas trees in Forsyth County are:

• Bottoms Christmas Tree Farm: 5880 John Burruss Road; (706) 429-3173 or
Hours: 3 p.m. to dark Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-dark Saturday through Dec. 23. Closed on Sundays.

• Kinsey Family Farm: 7170 Jot Em Down Road; (770) 887-6028 or
Hours: Noon to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends through Dec. 20.

• South Forsyth High School: 585 Peachtree Parkway; (770) 781-2264, Ext. 100520
Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekends while supplies last.

Pining for the perfect Christmas tree?

Hundreds of area residents have already found theirs right in Forsyth County.

Among popular tree locations are the Kinsey Family Farm, Bottoms Christmas Tree Farm and South Forsyth High School.

It’s been a good year for business, said Dennis Bottoms, whose family runs the farm on John Burruss Road.

“Our tree sales are up about 10 percent,” he said. “When times aren’t as good, people focus on things that are really important — their family and tradition.”

Andy Kinsey, an owner of the Kinsey Family Farm, said some families have their own traditions when it comes to tree type.

Among the popular varieties are North Carolina Fraser firs, Leyland cypress, Carolina Sapphire and Blue Ice cypress trees.

“We always have Charlie Brown trees,” he said. “They might be 6 feet tall with a giant crater in them, or 2 feet tall with hardly anything on them.

“It’s just fun ... a lot of customers will call and say, ‘We’re coming up, do you have any Charlie Browns?’ It’s more popular than I realized.”

But for all the Charlie Brown trees, Kinsey said there also are hundreds of trees for sale ranging in height up to 14 feet.

The farm did have some 16-foot tall trees, but the last one sold the first weekend in December.

That weekend, combined with Thanksgiving weekend are the two busiest for Kinsey, Bottoms and the high school.

The South Forsyth sale, which benefits the school’s baseball team, began with 250 trees the day after Thanksgiving. There are about 85 trees left.

The school wants to raise $10,000 for the baseball program. After nearly a decade of the tree sale, Coach Russ Bayer is confident they’ll meet the goal, no matter how long it takes.

“We would possibly sell until Christmas Eve, but hopefully we’ll sell out before that,” he said.

On school nights, players man the tent after school lets out. Parents take the night shifts so their children can do homework.

Weekends are a team effort, pulling from a group of 85 volunteers.

The event raises money as well as awareness for the team, which was the state Class AAAAA runner-up in 2009.

“It’s a great way to become involved in the community,” Bayer said. “We love having that face-to-face interaction with the community, as well as providing a service.

“We feel it’s become somewhat of a tradition in the community. A lot of people have been very good about keeping that tradition alive by seeing us on an annual basis.”

For the Kinsey and Bottoms farms, choosing a tree is a family affair. Parents and children often come together to cut down one on their own.

“We give them a saw and they go out there, and there’s ... several hundred trees to choose from,” Bottoms said. “Sometimes the dad will let the kids try and the dad ends up finishing it off for them ... We’ll provide help if they need it.”

Bottoms and Kinsey have already cut their own family Christmas trees.

Bottoms went with a Virginia pine tree, while Kinsey parted with his preferred Blue Ice Cypress for a Leyland Cypress “despite the fact it’s not in my top two.”

“But that’s what my kids wanted, so by golly, that’s what we have,” he said.

The surplus of rain this year, especially coming off a years-long drought, has spurred tree growth, Kinsey said.

“We didn’t have our first freeze until Dec. 1, so they kept growing and growing and growing,” he said. “We kept pruning and they’d fluff back out, so we had to keep pruning for Christmas.

“I’ll take that over not having enough rain any day.”