Cool Springs Nursery

9218 Hwy 105 South
Banner Elk, NC 28604


Mark and Paul Smith are brothers who started growing Fraser Fir Christmas trees just out of college in 1980. Mark was a chemist with Baxter Pharmaceutical International and Paul was a Presbyterian minister working full - time as an Associate Pastor in Hendersonville, N.C. He was there for almost eleven years. In 1991 he became tentmaker minister for 17 years, growing a congregation and growing trees at the same time. Over the years, two acres of Fraser Fir in 1980 has grown to 600 acres in 2011.

Since 2008, Paul is the full- time President of Cool Springs Nursery but is still involved in ministry on a volunteer basis. Phil Hobart is the farm Field Manager and we have anywhere from ten t0 hundred plus employees working on the farm during the year.

Mark was a director at Baxter International for over 35 years and was in charge of Global Logistics and distribution at the largest intravenous solutions manufacturing plant in the world. Mark has recently retired from Baxter to work full time at Cool Springs. He has expertise in shipping that helps Cool Springs Nursery domestically and internationally. Mark is charge of shipping doing all of our logistics and shipping during November among other things.

Cool Springs Nursery is known in the industry for its high quality trees. It is known by other Christmas tree growers for its cutting edge cultural practices and use of mechanization. We are a research cooperator with North Carolina State University and are currently working on several experiments on our farm which include the use of "deep phosphors trenching" to meet phosphorus requirements and also a project to use "clover" to supply the nitrogen requirements of Fraser Fir Christmas Trees.

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