Every Friday on social media, we post a Farm Feature Friday showcasing one of our dedicated North Carolina farmers. Joey Clawson, of Clawson’s Choose & Cut Tree Farm, is one of those farmers. The #FarmFeatureFriday campaign will run through December 2021 on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Be sure to tune in each Friday afternoon on social and help show your support for our local farmers!
In 1998, Joey Clawson began buying and wholesaling Fraser Fir Christmas trees in Boone. Growing up, his parents farmed dairy and tobacco before moving into the Christmas tree industry in the 90s. Joey started farming as a side job, working full time as a detention officer for the Sheriff’s office. Little did he know that years later, he would be a full-time farmer bringing smiles and creating memories for families across the state through Clawson’s Choose & Cut Farm and Panoramic View Christmas Tree Farm. “The best part of my job is establishing relationships with my customers and helping them create memories that will last a lifetime,” Joey said. Before those memories can be made, Joey and his family put a lot of time and faith into growing the perfect trees.
A typical day on the farm starts at 7 a.m. and ends around 8 p.m. “Depending on time of year, we are doing a variety of different things to ensure we grow the best trees for our customers,” Joey said, “from soil sampling, testing ph, transplanting and fertilizing to weed eating and trimming trees, it’s a tedious process to make these trees come to life in the way that people want and desire.”
Farmers like Clawson must be able to plan up to 10 years in advance, renting land and paying out money for a long period of time before seeing any return on investment. “It takes about 13 years to grow a eight-foot tree,” Joey says, “and each year we have to apply the needed fertilizer, herbicide, etc. by hand as well as trim and shape the trees to give them a full and defined shape.” Ninety-five percent of Christmas trees grown in North Carolina are Fraser Fir trees, including all the trees on Clawson’s farm, because they stay fresher longer after cutting than other varieties due to their high-moisture content. According to Joey, the perfect Christmas tree is not overcrowded in the house, has a medium density, and is uniform and structured so that, when lit, the entire tree lights up.
When you visit Clawson’s Choose & Cut Farm or Panoramic View Christmas Tree Farm, you will not only experience the beautiful sights and smells of the trees themselves, but also hayrides, hot chocolate and coffee, wreaths and farm animals. “We work hard to create a good and memorable experience for our customers,” Joey said.
“In farming, there’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing the start of a tree, caring for it and then, about seven to eight years later, seeing a gorgeous field of trees. We like leaving a smile on the faces of those who come and go. It’s a slow process, but if you like what you are doing, it is well worth it,” added Joey.
Not only does he enjoy growing the trees, but educating the public about the process and helping teach the next generation of Christmas tree farmers. “A couple years ago a young woman came up to me at the N.C. State Fair and wanted to know the ins and outs of being a Christmas tree farmer and it was incredibly rewarding to have the opportunity to educate and guide her toward her dream,” Joey said, “it’s not about being rich, but it is about loving what you do and taking pride in it.” When he is not farming Christmas trees, you can find Joey enjoying a nice beach vacation with his family.