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Plenty of NC Christmas Trees and Poinsettias

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler talks about the state’s holiday greenery supply for 2017.

  • A couple of weeks ago we talked about how much North Carolina farmers contribute to the Thanksgiving table, but you can also count on North Carolina farmers to make the Christmas holidays festive, too.
  • We are the second leading producer in the country of both Christmas trees and poinsettias.
  • Locally grown Christmas trees have been in the news a lot lately because their production numbers are down some this year.
  • That just means you should shop early for the best selection if you are in the market for a live tree and you should plan to pay a little more for a tree. But, you will be able to find live Christmas trees.
  • We lost some smaller growers when the market took a downturn during the recession a few years ago.
  • Christmas trees are an 8-year crop, so you can’t just increase production quickly. But the good news is we anticipate the market to start to rebound in 2019.
  • Poinsettias are another holiday plant tradition for many people, and according to 2015 statistics growers sold 4.3 million pots of poinsettias.
  • North Carolina is home to one of the largest poinsettias producers in the state and the country — Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville. They have 162 acres of heated greenhouse under roof. It is an impressive facility and they produce about 3 million plants annually.
  • This past weekend, visitors to the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh were able to look at more than 100 different poinsettia varieties on display and vote for their favorite ones as part of a national trial to gauge consumer preferences.
  • While the varieties included the traditional red and white plants, visitors were also treated to light and dark pink-colored poinsettias, orange ones and plants with variegated foliage. N.C. State University is one just three universities in the country participating in these trials.
  • Much like Thanksgiving, Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends and reflect on our blessings.
  • We are blessed that we live in such an agriculturally diverse and rich state. We have access to some of the fresh foods and holiday decorations available.
  • I encourage you to shop local because you are helping to support North Carolina farmers and agribusinesses. Remember, when you want the very best, it’s Got to Be NC. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.