Bob Reynolds owns Holly Berry Christmas Trees, a family business outside Richmond. He’s 84 and has been selling trees for 45 years.
“These are basically eight footers here,” Bob Reynolds shows me as we stand on the side of a busy among his trees. “See you don’t see needles come off of them. They’re fresh,” he proudly says.
Reynolds used to grow his own, just down the road on Route 360. His family had to stop farming. Now the trees come by the truckload from Grayson County and Bowling Green.
“I’ve had three trailer loads already. Got another one coming Wednesday. I hope we can sell them all. I like to make people happy.”
Reynolds sells up to 3,000 a season. Only the best, he says. “It’s a lot of hard work for these growers to grow these trees. They gotta grow a tree for eight years before they can harvest them. So they got little areas in the mountains that they grow these trees and they know when they can cut them. Takes a long time, so. It’s a long term investment.”
Reynolds only sells trees grown in Virginia, but he misses growing them himself. “Comes a time when you can’t do things like you used to. But you know the best part about anything in life is memories. People just don’t remember, they don’t think about it as they grow. I think about memories. My memories… I’m living off of memories now. Cause I’ve had good memories.”
To help others remember he gives them the small piece of wood cut from the stump of their tree, encourages them to write down a memory and tuck it somewhere safe.