One of the advantages of living here in the mountains of western NC, is that we have a number of Christmas tree farms nearby. We have three within 5 minutes of our home.The closest being Mehaffey Tree Farm, located on Hemphill road in Waynesville, NC. They aren’t the largest farm on Hemphill (that’s a good thing), and you can’t beat their prices, and the owners Walt and Mary are Waynesville natives, our neighbors, and just super nice folks.
Walt and Mary grew up in Waynesville. They were high school sweethearts, and married in 1966. They planted their first trees in 1984, on what was then Walt’s Dad’s land. They purchased additional land over the years from family members. Most of the first trees they planted unfortunately died from drought.
Their first tree harvest was in 1991 and they sold only to wholesale until 2009 when they both retired. Walt and Mary opened the tree farm to “choose and cut” in 2009. We were one of their first customers, and have bought our tree from them each year since. Mary and Walt said they love seeing many of their first year customers return year and after year. They also said “Our two children (Sean and Erin), three grandchildren (Aiden, Ashlynn and Cassidy) and staying active growing trees defines us!”.
Our kids can’t wait to visit their farm each year, and love walking through the acres of Christmas trees trying to find the best one. In fact, this year we found the tree we wanted pretty quickly, and our 11 year old was quick to point out that we needed to look at more and said “Dad, you just can’t rush things”. So we ended up walking around for another 30-40 minutes enjoying the smell of the trees, taking photos and letting the kids play along the rows of trees.
People travel from all over to visit the NC mountains to choose a live tree, have it cut and bring it home. While we were at Mehaffey Tree Farm this past Sunday, we saw license plates from Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.
Parking is located behind the large metal barn building, just follow the “choose and cut” signs once you reach their entrance drive. Upon arriving, you’ll be greeted by Mary, Walt, their son Sean, or one of their staff. You’ll be given a tall PVC pole which allows you to not only measure your tree, but also signal when you’ve found the perfect tree and you’re ready to have it cut. They’ll also direct you to section of the farm where they are currently harvesting trees. There are lots to choose from. We’ve been to other farms in the past where the selection wasn’t too great, the trees we not shaped well, dried out, dying, or full of gaps and holes. Not the case at Mahaffey’s. The majority of their trees are top notch.
Once you’ve found that perfect tree, just hold your poll up in the air and wave it, and the tree cutters will come over, mark your tree and give you a ticket. They will then cut your tree, place it in the trailer and haul it over to the barn/parking area for you. Outside of the barn is small wooden shack where you’ll take your ticket and pay for your tree, you can also purchase wreaths to decorate your home. While paying and waiting for your tree to be prepared, grab some hot chocolate or spiced cider. Our kids look forward to it each year. The Mehaffy’s accept cash, check and credit cards.
While you pay, the Mehaffey staff will shake your tree to get all of the dead needles off, and wrap it up for you. If you would like your tree drilled, they’ll do that for you as well. Your tree will then be placed next to the parking area, ready for you to take home. If you need the tree tied to the top of your car, they will take care of that for you too, as you can see in the photo below.
Directions: From Asheville, take I-40 West to Exit 20. From Knoxville, take I-40 East to Exit 20. From Exit 20, Follow Highway 276 towards Maggie Valley. Drive about 2.7 miles, and you’ll turn right on Hemphill Road. Travel up Hemphill for about 1.4 miles, and you’ll see the signs for Mehaffey Tree Farm on the left. If you reach an old red school house on the right, you’ve gone too far. Note, you’ll pass two other tree farms on your way to Mehaffey’s, just keep on going 😉
Hours: Saturday, November 22, 2014 – Sunday, December 21, 2014 9am – 5pm daily, closed on Mondays.
Address: 20 Corner Drive, Waynesville NC 28785
Disclosure: We are in no way affiliated with Mehaffey Tree Farm, nor is this a paid posting. Walt and Mary are our neighbors, and we love their farm and wanted to share it with you so you could enjoy it too.