~ December is Christmas Tree Month across the Commonwealth ~
Nothing says Christmas like a real, Virginia Grown evergreen tree, fresh-made wreaths and fragrant garlands. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) reports the state’s growers have an abundance of fresh, farm-grown trees for the holiday season.
Virginia’s Christmas tree growers rank among the top producers in the nation and harvest sales contribute approximately $7.5 million to the state’s economy, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. More than 500 Christmas tree farms across the Commonwealth provide an estimated 478,000 cut trees to consumers. Virginia ranks No. 7 in the country in total trees harvested.
To acknowledge the work of Christmas tree farmers and the value of Christmas tree farming to the Commonwealth’s agriculture industry, Governor McAuliffe proclaimed December as Virginia Christmas Tree Month and encourages consumers to choose Virginia Grown trees, wreaths, garlands and other decorations this holiday season.
The size of Christmas tree farms in Virginia ranges from less than 1 acre to as large as several hundred or even 1,000 acres. They are a valuable and aesthetically pleasing addition to the land and can be planted on barren slopes and difficult spots where other crops will not grow. Virginia’s rich soil and moderate climate are ideal for growing a wide variety of Christmas evergreen trees including white pine, Scotch pine, Norway spruce, Canaan fir, blue spruce, Douglas fir and Fraser fir. For every Christmas tree harvested, another 2-3 seedlings are planted in its place.
Fresh Virginia Grown Christmas tree farms are located across the state and in easy driving distance of consumers in every region. Freshness is an essential feature of every locally grown tree; they retain their needles and stay fragrant longer than trees brought in from out of state, which may have been cut a month or more in advance.
Search for Virginia Grown Christmas tree growers online at VirginiaGrown.com. Along with choose-and-cut and pre-cut trees, many farms also sell fresh-made wreaths, garlands, holiday greenery, roping, centerpieces and tree stands. Some offer special touches for a memorable family experience such as hot beverages, holiday treats, hayrides and Christmas shops.
Virginia growers deliver the spirit of the holiday season by donating hundreds of Christmas trees to military families each year through the Trees for Troops Program.
-Submitted by Dawn Eischen, APR Senior Public Relations Specialist