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What I Do: Bill Chisholm

Social Worker /Christmas Tree Driver

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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.

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