By Natalie Simms
Fresh Christmas trees arrive in Rome in two weeks with a new vendor joining the local market. Icicle Mountain Christmas Trees will be opening on Shorter Avenue in the old Mathis Builders’ Hardware lot. They join Christmas Tree City which is returning for its 42nd season in Rome in front of State Mutual Stadium off the Bypass, as well as Silver Creek Christmas Tree Farm offering ‘cut your own’ options.
Tree farmer Bradley Richie of Richie Farms in Ash County, North Carolina, is bringing his Icicle Mountain Christmas Tree lot to Rome. His family has grown Frazier Firs on their farm for decades and this will be their third retail location, the first in Georgia. The other two lots are in North Carolina.
“We have family in Rome that encouraged us to open here. We are trying to get bigger in the retail side of things,” says Richie. “We thought we would try it out and see how it goes this year.”
Icicle Mountain Christmas Trees will have Frazier Firs in a variety of sizes from table-top up to 11-12 feet tall, as well as some White Pine trees.
First day of business will be Nov. 23 and they hope to be open through Dec. 18 depending on supply. Business hours will be Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Check for updates via Facebook.
Christmas Tree City gearing up for another season in front of State Mutual Stadium off the Bypass. Sales begin Monday, Nov. 23. The hours will be 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon until 8 p.m. on Sundays. Check for updates via Facebook.
The Rutlands will be selling Frazier Firs they get from a family grower in Cashiers, N.C., just as they have for the past 42 seasons. The sell, on average, 600 trees each season, in varying sizes and height starting at five to 12 feet. They also will sell fresh wreaths custom made by a local crafter.
“This will be year number 42 for us. We are really excited to back by the stadium. It has been good for us,” says Jud Rutland, who co-owns the business with his father, Guy.
Christmas Tree City has been on the move over the last decade after setting up shop at the corner of Turner McCall Boulevard and First Street, where Hardees is now located, for years. They then moved over to the Kmart parking lot on Hicks Drive, but moved from there in 2016 after it closed. They opened one year next on Turner McCall Boulevard next door to McDonald’s where ‘The Laundry Room’ is now located before moving near the stadium three years ago.
If you prefer to cut your own, Silver Creek Christmas Tree Farm, at 226 Spur 101, opens Saturday, Nov. 21, earlier than their traditional day after Thanksgiving.
“There is a shorter window between Thanksgiving and Christmas so we are opening earlier this year,” says owner Wyatt Bramlette. “We hope the season will be very busy…area pumpkin patches and strawberry farms were busy this years, so we think folks are looking to get outside and do something.”
The tree farm has 5 different varieties you can cut including White Pine, Murray Cypress, Leland Cypress, Blue Ice and Carolina Sapphire, as well as pre-cut Frazier Firs brought in from North Carolina.
“We got a lot of rain int he spring, summer and fall, so it’s been good for the trees. We have plenty of great trees this year,” he says.
Along with trees, free hayrides are available for children on the weekend only.
Hours: 4 p.m.-dark weekdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (or dark) Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.