Christmas trees are lined up for sale at numerous chain stores across the Grand Strand, but many parents prefer the nostalgic experience of picking a tree from a roadside stand with their children, just like they did when they were youngsters.
For more adventurous families, the experience of cutting down their own tree on a farm has become the holiday tradition.
Booth's Christmas Tree Farm at 5268 Adrian Highway in Conway is a popular spot with long-time locals, and the farm provides a sharp saw free of charge for the do-it-yourselfers.
They will even lend a hand in cutting down a particularly large tree and transporting it to the car.
No power tools allowed, and children aren’t permitted to cut down the trees.
The farm’s specialty is on-site flocking, which gives trees a snowy look and helps the tree retain the needles. This will require two trips -- one to choose the tree and a second to pick it up.
The process takes about 24 hours to dry, and the tree can’t be transported when it’s raining.
Because of damage caused by Hurricane Matthew and a tornado that swept over the farm in February, no field trees under five feet tall will be sold.
The farm has a large selection of trees that includes Carolina Sapphire, Eastern Red Cedar, Leyland Cypress, Virginia Pine, Clemson Greenspire and White Pine.
The farm is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Roadside stands in area parking lots began sprouting up throughout the county in late November, including the Waccamaw Sertoma civic club in Conway that has operated seasonally at 15th Avenue and Main Street for 40 years.
“It’s our major fundraiser of the year,” said Johnny Vaught, an Horry County councilman who has volunteered at the lot for 25 years.
The club typically raises about $7,000 to $10,000 a season, and all of the money goes to local charities, Vaught said.
The 500 Fraser Fir trees they are selling were cut in Sparta, North Carolina on Wednesday, and arrived in the lot Friday, driven the distance by a volunteer trucker.
The Fraser trees range in size from 5 feet to 10 feet in height, and sell for $40 to $70. The tree lot is open from noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
While live trees can be readily purchased at Lowe’s, Walmart and Food Lion, many prefer to support local sellers and are passing the word through social media about Christmas trees being sold in their neighborhoods by venders and farmers.
Trees are for sale in the parking lot of Surfside Methodist Church, across from Socastee High School, at the Turtle Mart on S.C. 707 and in the parking lot of Design on a Dime!, across from Ocean Lakes.
Goodman’s Tree Farm is selling Fraser firs in front of Books a Million at Inlet Square Mall, and Pawleys Island General Store is also selling live trees.
The Marlowe Christmas Tree lot is operating in Myrtle Beach at 4801 South Kings Highway beside the Palmetto Distillery.
They are selling five to nine foot Fraser firs that are cut and delivered weekly from North Carolina.
They are open Sunday and Monday from 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. and noon to 9 p.m. the rest of the week.
The Sun News will keep a running list of roadside tree lots this holiday season. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your operation to be added to the list.