• 63°

With second hobbit house now complete, Cherry Treesort looks toward future expansion

CHINA GROVE — Stationed under the shady canopy at the Cherry Treesort in China Grove is a large, colorful map of the United States protected by sliding plexiglass doors.

During their stay, guests have pinned the place on the map from where they’ve traveled. While the North Carolina portion of the map is almost completely obscured by pins, states as far away as Hawaii and Washington have a pin or two in them as well. About two months ago, the last remaining unpinned state was finally stuck. 

Trent Cherry, founder and owner, thinks it was either New Hampshire or Maine. Although he can’t quite recall which the last holdout was, the feat of landing a guest from every state is not lost on him.

“We’ve had someone from every state come to China Grove now. I think that’s pretty cool,” Cherry said. “If I was Rowan County, I’d like that. It’s bringing in some people who have never heard about it.”

The growing popularity of the Cherry Treesort is why he recently requested approval from the Rowan County Board of Commissioners to build an additional seven homes on the site. Cherry’s request was approved unanimously Monday night. 

If Cherry builds all seven allotted homes, it will bring the total number of structures on the roughly 26-acre property to 14. In addition to five existing tree houses, Cherry recently built two hobbit homes, the second finished just a week ago.

“When I started this, I thought maybe four max,” Cherry said. “Now we’re at seven with people getting mad at me because they can’t get a weekend (reservation).”

The Cherry Treesort, he said, has actually received a boost from the pandemic as travelers have looked for less crowded places to get away. 

“I remember when it first came out, we lost 55 reservations in three weeks. I was like ‘Well, that’s it, we’re going to have to shut down,’ ” Cherry said. “They started coming back around and then it just picked up a lot because people wanted somewhere to go.”

Many weekends have been booked solid, he said, and some customers have started staying during the week. A group of about 15 retirees from Calabash recently spent a few days there and booked their stay at   after stumbling across an article in a magazine. 

Such features or spots on travel blogs is about as much advertising as Cherry does. Word of mouth, he said, seems to be the main way people hear his endeavors.

Cherry said his favorite part is welcoming people from other places to China Grove.

“It’s fun to have people come in,” Cherry said. “They come back and they’re like ‘Wow, China Grove.’ I tell the locals and they’re like ‘Really?’ Man, if you don’t live here and you’re not used to seeing it, it’s pretty cool.”

Cherry expects to start construction on the additional tree houses in June, but work on the road connecting the houses will begin as early as this week.

Comments

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards

Local

Cheerleading team competes at Disney

Education

Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team

Local

Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest

Books

‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer

Local

Public Records: March Deeds

Entertainment

Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31

Coronavirus

Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Business

Down Goat: Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings

Local

Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service

Lifestyle

New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge

Lifestyle

Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project

Lifestyle

Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday

Business

Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Nation/World

‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza