Christmas Trees in Agriculture

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With Christmas right around the corner it is time to talk about an important industry in North Carolina. Christmas tree production has been around North Carolina for many years. The North Carolina Christmas Tree Association started in 1959 in Avery County with only 5 members. This marked the beginning of a valuable commodity in North Carolina. Currently we harvest the second most Christmas trees only behind the state of Oregon. Part of the reason for being ranked second is due to approximately 40,000 acres of tree farms across the state. Most trees produced in North Carolina are Fraser Firs with some Leyland Cypress, Red Cedars and pines also being grown as you move east from the mountains. Trees are bought from retail stores as well as cut at some choose and cut operations across the state. North Carolina has trees that are sold across the country as well as to neighboring countries. North Carolina growers have also supplied the White House with their Christmas tree multiple times since 2000 including this year’s tree. With more than 80 million in Christmas Tree Sales in 2017 the industry helps support NC Agricultural and brings holiday cheer to thousands of homes.

Jared Butler is the Agriculture Agent for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.