Byron Sexton, considered a pioneer in the Fraser fir Christmas tree industry, was known for his creative thoughts and eccentric ideas. In 1960, after observing trees in the wild being cut and taken home for a fresh, aromatic Christmas tree. He decided to take a chance on setting Fraser fir trees hoping a market could be developed to underwrite a sustainable business.
The story goes... upon talking to a local agriculture extension agent regarding his idea to set out Fraser fir Christmas trees, the recommended suggestion was to try "one acre" just to see how it goes. He informed them that he just set eighty acres and was taking a chance that the Fraser fir Christmas tree just might have a really bright future! Byron Sexton was making his living as a tobacco farmer while taking a chance on the Fraser fir. He needed a partner to help with expenses being incurred. Who's better able to be your partner than your own son?
Kenneth Sexton was Byron's oldest son and a store manager for the Roses chain in the 60's and 70's. As the partnership formed, Kenneth and his wife Joann sent money to support the new venture, and threw themselves into learning more about the budding Christmas tree industry and the Fraser fir tree.
After a rotation had grown and the business had taken off Kenneth put in for an early retirement and moved his family back to the mountains to take over the Christmas tree business. Kenneth was on numerous boards in the Christmas tree industry, and was one of the founders of the North Carolina Tree Association Fraser fir Promotional Committee. He worked tirelessly to promote the Fraser fir and for all the people, like himself, that had chosen to make this a way of life.
As the business continued to grow with the popularity of the Fraser fir Christmas tree growing virtually across the US, it became necessary to have more people involved to sustain the business. Greg and James, Kenneth's sons, had worked in the Christmas tree fields ever since they were old enough to work. Upon graduating college, both decided to stay in the family business. As both, Greg and James say "it gets into your blood".
Today, Greg and wife, Robin, have three sons, Andrew, Matthew and Thomas who all plan on continuing the family business their great-grandfather started over fifty years ago. Tim Sexton, youngest son of Byron Sexton, still helps with tree harvest. The family has grown and extended in many exciting ways and we are very appreciative for everyone who has become like family and had part in our farm's growth and success.
"We are blessed to be able to work with our family in a business, that ultimately brings happiness into many homes as families gather together to put up their Christmas tree." - Greg & Robin Sexton