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More than 400 tree farms to choose from in N.C.

N.C. Agriculture Dept.
RALEIGH ó In the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation,” Chevy Chase’s character leads his family on a wilderness journey to find the perfect family Christmas tree. Chances are, North Carolinians can find their Christmas tree without going on such an odyssey.”North Carolina has more than 400 farms where you can choose and cut your own Christmas tree, so you should be able to find a tree fairly close to home,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
“Choosing a real Christmas tree can become a great family tradition. Plus, real Christmas trees are renewable. Each tree that is harvested is replaced with one or more new trees. And trees that are discarded after the holidays can be recycled as mulch or used as habitat for wildlife and fish.”
To find a choose-and-cut tree farm, log on to www.ncfarm fresh.com or www.visitnc farms. com, or request a directory from the Marketing Division at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by calling (919) 733-7887.
Most choose-and-cut farms will cut, bale and load trees onto vehicles for safe transport home. Many also offer garland, wreaths, sprays and other greenery as accents for holiday decorating.Gov. Mike Easley has proclaimed the period of Nov. 28 through Dec. 24 as “Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Month” in North Carolina.
North Carolina’s 2008 Christmas tree harvest should top 5 million trees from more than 1,500 growers. Growers in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain grow pines, cedars and other types well-suited to warmer climates, while mountain growers raise the fraser fir and other varieties.
The state leads the nation in cash receipts from Christmas trees and greenery, with sales of $125 million in 2007.For more information, go to the N.C. Christmas Tree Association’s Web site at www.nc christmas trees.com or the Eastern North Carolina Christmas Tree Growers Association site at www.nc-choose andcut.com.

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