Folks looking for a real Christmas tree should have plenty to choose from this year because the crop is excellent. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler says that NC grown Christmas trees are starting to arrive at the local farmers markets and other retailers:
“As you can see, Christmas trees are already arriving at the farmers’ markets, nurseries, garden centers, and retailers across the state. And then, there are just hundreds of choose-and- cut operations across the state where Christmas trees are available.”
The selection should be outstanding this year, for a young industry, according to Troxler:
“This year, we probably are going to have our best crop of Christmas trees ever. There’s going to be good selection, good prices, and any size you would desire. In fact, we’re going to harvest about 5 million Christmas trees in North Carolina this year. And we’re still a young industry, believe it or not; we’ve only been in business about 60 years.”
The Christmas tree business has become big business for North Carolina agriculture, garnering national acclaim:
“We now have more than 1,500 growers producing Christmas trees on 35,000 acres, and we have 50 million Christmas trees in North Carolina in some stage of growth. We also have a lot to be proud of in this Christmas tree business, we rank 2nd in the United States in production of Christmas trees and their value, behind Oregon, and that equates to over $100 million a year.
A North Carolina Christmas tree has graced the Blue Room of the White House eleven times, including 2007 and 2008, and the only reason I can think that we’re not there this year is that somebody made a mistake in the judging, our trees are just that good.”
In addition to a seasonal decoration, Christmas trees are a sustainable product, and can have many uses after the season:
“Real Christmas trees are renewable. Each time a farmer harvests a tree he replaces it with one or more new trees. By purchasing a live Christmas tree from North Carolina you keep North Carolina green and growing, and you help keep people on the farm. Christmas trees are recyclable; they can be used for mulch, wildlife habitat, restoring dunes and coastal wetlands. They do not go into landfills. In my case, my Christmas tree ends up being a habitat for the fish in my pond.”
To find a North Carolina grown Christmas tree this holiday season, log on to ncfarmfresh.com.
The Eastern North Carolina Christmas Tree Growers Association has an online directory to help you find a Fresh NC Christmas tree in your area...