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The Fir is Flying in the NC Christmas Tree Business

The fir is flying from the North Carolina mountains to the coast…the state’s Christmas tree season is in full swing. Bill Glenn, Marketing Specialist with NCDA explains that the relentless rains earlier in the year actually benefited this year’s crop:

“We have an excellent crop this year. Its important to remember that Frazier Fir is our largest Christmas tree crop and they are native to the highest mountains here in NC, places that normally average 100 inches of rain per year or more anyway. The rainfall really did not have a negative effect and in some ways had a very positive effect. They have excellent aroma and color and the bud set for next year looks good too.”

Glenn says that around five million trees will be harvested this year and shipped all across the country, and to several foreign countries as well:

“We are primarily sending to the eastern part of the US, but we also send them as far west as California and also overseas. Our biggest international trading partner is Canada and then a number of countries in Central America.”

If it seems as if it’s taking a long time for Thanksgiving to get here, you would be correct, therefore, the Christmas season is just that much shorter…by about five days. Glenn says this situation is of some concern:

“It’s a concern because the season is compressed. I don’t anticipate it being a problem on the retail end unless we have some bad weather on a few weekends. If the weather is good we should have good sales on the retail side.”

And the growers aren’t necessarily waiting for Thanksgiving to pass to get harvest in gear says Glenn:

“We have growers that have been cutting for a week or more and have been shipping since last week. And because Thanksgiving comes late, shipping trees is not unusual.”

While there won’t be a North Carolina tree in a famous, high-visibility location this year, Glenn is philosophical:

“Unfortunately we did not win the competition to put a tree in the White House this year.”

To have a North Carolina Christmas tree in your home or office this year is easy says Glenn:

“You can go online to and there is a list of all the ‘choose and cut’ farms in NC. There are also retail lot listings and the larger retail chains that carry NC Frazier firs are listed.”

NCDA Marketing Specialist Bill Glenn 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.