What I Do: Bill Chisholm 

Social Worker /Christmas Tree Driver

We're from Antigonish. It's a fairly large town with a population of 5,000. The major sources of income are fishing and farming. These trees come from those farms.

That local fellow over there in the green is the actual purchaser; he runs this lot and several others. [The lot is located at The Shops at Willow Lawn.] My co-driver, Herb Callahan, and I are just the trucking component.

I'm a social worker. Herb is a health inspector. This is our first trip to Richmond with trees. To get here took about 30 hours of steady driving. That's why we have two drivers, so one sleeps and the other drives.

All these trees are for Richmond, Virginia. Others have gone to Philadelphia and Boston — some went to Puerto Rico and were sent by container. My last load I delivered in Manhattan.

They're all balsam firs. They're coniferous evergreens and quite fragrant. They really hold their needles well and are a nice bright green color.

These trees all grow naturally. They're not planted. They just spring up in woods that have been cutover or logged. A lot of people don't like cutting Christmas trees because they think it's harming the environment. But it's an awful lot like a garden, where if you're planting carrots if you don't thin them they'll grow so thick you won't get any.

— As told to Brandon Walters; Photographed by Scott Elmquist.


Latest in News and Features


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Preaching for Peace

    Preaching for Peace

    As gun violence plagues the city, the Rev. Donte McCutchen seeks solutions.
    • Jun 15, 2021
  • Power to the People

    Power to the People

    A new documentary about the rise and fall of the Confederate monuments offers a sweeping history of resistance.
    • Jun 8, 2021
  • Waive That Flag

    Waive That Flag

    A VCU teacher has students redesign Virginia flags to “reckon with dead symbols.”
    • Jun 8, 2021
  • AUDIO: Excerpts from Michael Paul Williams interview

    AUDIO: Excerpts from Michael Paul Williams interview

    The longtime Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist earned a Pulitzer this week.
    • Jun 12, 2021
  • More »

Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation