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Christmas tree grower's farm is fixture
Faces and Places
1112 Faces and Places1
Paschal Brewer, owner of Brewer’s Christmas Tree-Blueberry Farm, prunes one of the trees on his field. - photo by Photo by Hollie Moore Barnidge
Go get your Christmas Tree
   Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm is at 1067 Robert Hill Road in Midway.
   They are open from daylight to dark starting the day after Thanksgiving.
   For information, call 884-5292 or go to
Name: Paschal Brewer

Owner of Brewer’s Christmas Tree-Blueberry Farm.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Georgia-Athens.

How’d you get started in tree farming?
Brewer’s dad purchased the land the farm currently sits on at the beginning of WWII. He fenced the original 450 acres and raised cattle on it. When was serving in the Navy in Puerto Rico. He returned and saw most of the fencing needed to be replaced, which would have been costly, so rather than raise cattle, Brewer replanted all the open areas with timber. He began raising Christmas trees after he and his son cut down their first tree.
   “One year, there was a tree growing right in my front yard,” Brewer said. “So, me and my 3-year-old son went out and cut it down for Christmas. He said, ‘Dad, that was fun. Let’s do that again.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t think your mom wants another tree in the house.’ So, we planted a lot of them.”
   Brewer also grows persimmons, blueberries, pears, grapes, pecans and other produce on his farm.

How do you keep the birds and wildlife away from your produce?
“We have enough to share. You gotta plant enough for you and the critters, too. They have a smorgasbord out here.”

How many trees do you plant every year? “About 1,500 a year. Several years ago, I was running short, so I planted 3,000 that year, but we had a drought and lost a lot of them.”

How long does it take a tree to mature to Christmas tree status? Brewer said trees grow for 4-9 years before they’re ready to be cut, depending on the type of tree.
   “You plant some every year and you cut some every year. But you always plant more than you cut in case of disease or drought,” Brewer said.

How many sons do you have? Will they take over the business?
“Got three sons and one stepson, so there’s four. They help me, but they don’t have any interest in it at this point. Maybe when they retire.”

What’s the most popular type of tree with your customers?
“Leland cypress, but Virginia pine used to be.”

How do you know how far apart to plant your trees?
“How big do you want the tree to be? You plan by how big they’ll get. If you want a 9- or 10-foot tree, I’ve found 6 to 8 feet apart works well. You need to plant your rows at least three feet wider than the widest piece of equipment you’ll be operating.”

What happens to the trees that aren’t Christmas tree quality? Brewer said they’re all pretty much recycled in some way. Some trees are used in wreaths, some people use them as pond reefs, some trees become mulch, some are used for erosion control and very few are burned.

What time of year do you plant the trees?
“January is the ideal time to plant because the winter rain settles the trees in,” Brewer said. “You have adequate cold so the trees aren’t in as much shock.”
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