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North Carolina has excellent 2011 Christmas tree crop

RALEIGH – With Thanksgiving just a day away, North Carolina Christmas tree farmers are gearing up for a busy month. Choose and cut operations will open this weekend across the western part of the state for consumers hoping to find the perfect Christmas tree. For weeks, growers have already been harvesting and preparing trees for shipment across the country for sale at home improvement centers, grocery stores and other retail locations.

“We’ve had a good growing season and consumers will find a good, healthy selection and wide variety of sizes which to choose from,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

Consumers who don’t have time to drive to the mountains can find fresh, N.C. Christmas trees at stands and local farmers markets starting this weekend.

The Fraser fir is the dominant Christmas tree produced in North Carolina, where the elevation and climate in western counties create perfect growing conditions for the crop. North Carolina growers also produce Concolor fir, blue spruce, red cedar, Leyland cypress, Carolina Saphire and Blue Ice Arizona cypress and white pine trees.

For a list of choose and cut farms in North Carolina, visit www.ncfarmfresh.com.

North Carolina Christmas tree facts:

  • • North Carolina ranks second in the nation in Christmas tree production.
  • • More than 5 million Christmas trees are harvested annually.
  • • In 2010, Christmas tree cash receipts generated $85 million for the state’s economy.
  • • There are more than 1,000 Christmas tree growers in the state, with farms ranging from 1/10 of an acre to more than 1,000 acres.
  • • N.C. Christmas tree growers have committed to donate more than 1,000 trees to the Trees for Troops program. Trees will be delivered to military families stationed at Marine Corp Air Station New River, Camp LeJeune, Fort Story in Virginia, and Fort Bliss in Texas.

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