NEWLAND – Sugar Mountain Nursery continued its tradition of delivering and setting up the official Carolina Panthers professional football team Christmas tree outside of Bank of America Stadium.
The 50-foot giant carved out of Watauga County features more than 46,000 lights and an anchored stability system. Tree lighting in Charlotte drew thousands with food trucks, fireworks, activities and Santa Claus.
Wayne Holden, military veteran and Pat Ray’s post officer, in association with Sugar Mountain Nursery, has been providing labor and supplies for the Carolina Panthers Christmas tree for eight years since the former owner of the Jerry Richardson team and Spartan Foods discovered tree specialists by word of mouth.
After the team was sold in 2018 to David Tepper, the Panthers organization continued to use Holden and Sugar Mountain Nursery for its Yuletide program in the city.
” It is special. We love to do it, ”Holden said of the Carolina Panthers tree supply and setup.
An incredible amount of work goes into the delivery and installation of the 50 foot shaft. Holden coordinates a large flatbed truck, fasteners, cranes, several workers, and a bucket truck to install the plethora of lights.
“We’ve been doing this for quite a long time,” Holden noted of how much work the program needs, as they’ve been doing it long enough to warrant expertise in setting up an incredibly large and beautiful Christmas piece.
The Sugar Mountain Nursery uses exclusively High Country trees, all from the local region and specializes in the extremely tall variety. The local company delivers and installs trees in cities across the country, with trees traveling to Boston, Brooklyn, Birmingham, Oklahoma City, Winston-Salem, Miami, Houston and Jacksonville.
The wholesale nurseryman and licensed landscape contractor cut down a pair of White House trees, while also providing trees to notable businesses and events.
“We’re always looking for trees,” Holden said, mentioning the company is looking for trees from Alabama to Maryland.
Typically installing more than 20 rocking trees east of the Mississippi, Holden explained, “Most of our trees are between 25 and 60 feet tall.” Their busiest time for the nursery is usually November and December.