PORTLAND–Like Santa’s elves readying toys for Christmas, farmers in the Pacific Northwest are already preparing another holiday essential – real Christmas trees.
Beginning in mid-November, sustainable farmers in the Pacific Northwest – which supplies the majority of real Christmas trees purchased in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and other Southwestern states – will start harvesting for Christmas by selecting those trees that have reached maturity. Many growers will employ the help of helicopters to ensure the freshness of each tree collected.
“We put years of nurturing and care into raising our trees, and it’s so rewarding to finally see our hard work become the center of a family’s Christmas celebration,” said Gayla Hansen, a grower with the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association.
The Pacific Northwest is the country’s largest producers of Douglas-Fir, Noble and Grand-Fir trees. Farmed by U.S.-based growers, these trees are raised in a sustainable manner.
* Christmas trees are farmed like any other sustainable crop, such as produce or nuts. They are planted and harvested in areas to prevent interference with native vegetation and are meticulously tended to before they arrive in homes.
* In the years it takes the trees to fully develop, they produce oxygen, reduce carbon emissions and provide refuge for local wildlife.
* For each tree that is harvested, growers plant one to two more, ensuring their next harvest and continued environmental benefits.
* Real Christmas trees are also recyclable and can be mulched, used as compost or used as ground cover for hiking trails.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, and purchasing a real Christmas tree is a great way to make a positive impact on the environment,” said Mike Bondi, professor and extension faculty for Oregon State University’s College of Forestry. “A real Christmas tree is a natural choice. Real Christmas trees benefit the environment from the time they’re planted until they’re recycled after the holidays.”
In addition to helping the environment, buying a real Christmas tree helps to support U.S.-based growers, many who own farms handed down through generations of families.
For more information on real Christmas trees, or tips on how to purchase or properly care for a real Christmas tree, visit www.nwtrees.com.
The Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association was established in 1955 to protect the interests of local farmers in Oregon and Washington. With membership exceeding 1,000 farms, it has grown to further develop the market for Pacific Northwest-grown trees, educate the public on aspects of the industry, practice environmental stewardship and promote the production of high-quality, marketable trees.
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