Ready to decorate? N.C. Christmas tree growers saw one of best seasons ever

By on November 25, 2009

For some, the day after Thanksgiving is filled with nearly as many traditions as the holiday itself: Making turkey sandwiches from leftovers, braving Black Friday shopping trips and breaking out red and green holiday decorations.

If you’re on the lookout for a Christmas tree, wreath or other holiday greenery, N.C. Christmas tree farmers have you covered. The 2009 crop is one of the best growers have ever seen, thanks to recent drops in temperatures and adequate moisture, and North Carolina’s 2009 Christmas tree harvest should top 5 million trees from more than 1,500 growers.

N.C. Christmas trees are known for their quality and freshness – so much so that a N.C. Fraser fir has been chosen for the official White House Christmas tree 11 times, including three times in the last five years. Last year, representatives from the White House selected an 18-and-a-half foot Christmas tree from River Ridge Farms in Creston. River Ridge Farms, owned and operated by business partners Jessie Davis, Rusty Estes and Carol Pennington, hosted White House staff last November, as seen on the video below.

Note: If video doesn’t appear, try refreshing your browser. Special thanks to the National Christmas Tree Association for use of this footage.

More than 96 percent of N.C. Christmas trees are Fraser firs, which are grown in the mountains. Farmers in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain grow pines, cedars and other varieties well-suited to warmer climates. The state was second in the nation in cash receipts from Christmas trees in 2008, with sales of $100 million.

Customers can find trees at choose-and-cut farms, nurseries, garden centers, farmers markets and retailers across the state.  To find a choose-and-cut tree farm or retailer, log on to www.ncfarmfresh.com or request a directory by calling the Marketing Division at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (919) 733-7887.

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