|Rockis owns a farm where he grows Christmas trees and maintains over 12 different conifer seed orchards, which are primarily Canaan Fir. He also supplies a variety of seed and transplant materials to the Christmas tree and nursery industry through the country.|
“When you think of the perfect Christmas tree to be displayed at our State Capitol that reflects what it means to be a West Virginian, you can’t find a better choice than a Canaan Fir,” said Rockis.
In the early 90s, Rockis worked with Dr. Franklin C. Cech, a forest genetics professor at West Virginia University, to improve the Canaan Fir, a tree similar in appearance to the highly sought after Fraser Fir but native to certain regions of West Virginia.
The donated trees were growing too tall on Rockis’ property and needed to be cut down due to power lines nearby. Rockis plans to plant new Canaan Fir trees again in that spot.