Tree farmer reviving Christmas spirit

Published 2:06 pm Friday, November 30, 2012

Tom Pinkerman stands amongst his trees on his farm located outside of Proctorville on State Route 775.

PROCTORVILLE — Running a tree farm is no easy task. Just ask Tom Pinkerman.

Pinkerman Tree Farm has been around since the 1960s, first planted by Tom’s father Charles. Over the years, the farm has waxed and waned, sometimes with no one to keep the farm vibrant. But in 2004, Pinkerman revived the land after retiring from the TV repair business.

On the same land first bought by the Pinkerman family in 1926, the trees are growing strong — Pinkerman makes sure of that.

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Everyday, the man heads to the rows of trees — blue spruce, red and Scotch pine, fir — and tends to the weeds, keeps the insects and deer at bay, trims the branches and mows the grass.

Pinkerman first took over work on the farm in 1973, when he was just 24 years old. Now 63, the man wants to ensure the farm can stay in the family.

“I’m trying to get something started for my grandson,” Pinkerman said.

And the 6-year-old is already getting into the business, he said, helping trim the trees.

Tree farming is not a face-paced business, Pinkerman said, noting trees can take anywhere from six to eight years to grow tall enough.

“He spends so much time trimming and taking care of those trees,” said Pinkerman’s wife Patty. “They are like his babies.”

Although the farm hasn’t be open continuously over the years, Pinkerman estimated more than 10,000 were sold throughout the decades.

The trees aren’t just for trimming and decking the halls. Pinkerman said people and contractors frequently buy the smaller trees for landscaping.

“People get spruce in the summer for landscaping,” he said. “Especially the blue spruce.”

Pinkerman Tree Farm is located at 1363 State Route 775 in Proctorville and is open from 9 a.m. to dark daily.