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The Holiday Harvest from Christmas Tree Farms

Posted by Mary Ann Leonard, Special Projects Coordinator, National Agricultural Library in Forestry
Feb 21, 2017

Nine days til Christmas.

Many of you already have your trees up, I'm sure, but for just as many, if not more, your tree will be making it's way home sometime over the next week.

The National Christmas Tree Association estimates that 25-30 million trees are sold in the U.S. each year. All but a tiny percentage of those are grown for harvest on Christmas tree farms in 49 of our 50 states. (The 2007 Census of Agriculture indicates no tree farms in Wyoming now, though it had 8 in 2002. I can't say that none exist, only that none are reported. But doesn't that seem odd -- no Christmas tree farms in Wyoming, but 37 in Hawaii? Who would have thought?)

As for buying a tree, I know you don't need me to tell you about all the commercial options at your disposal. You probably passed a handful on your latest trip to the grocery store. But if you like the idea of selecting and cutting your own tree, check out this directory of u-cut farms. In addition, many National Forests, particularly in New England and the West, allow you to select and cut your own tree with a pre-purchased permit. (Rules are set and permits sold by regional forests, so do your research before heading out.)

Once you get the tree home, follow the resources for keeping it green that my plant-loving colleagues have pulled together. Water, you might guess, is the key.

So, what's your favorite type of tree to use at Christmas? Blue spruce? Douglas fir? Scotch pine? Something else?

And, dare I ask, are you pro- or anti-tinsel?

Category/Topic: Forestry