Today’s Topic: N.C. Christmas trees and poinsettias

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoChristmas decorations were on display in some stores before Halloween, but the season for holiday greenery really kicks into gear now that Thanksgiving has passed. Choose-and-cut tree farms are now open in the mountains and foothills for families hoping to find the perfect Christmas tree for their house.

Commissioner Troxler says a cold fall and good amount of moisture have helped N.C. growers produce an excellent crop of trees this year, leading to an ample supply and selection of trees to fit any budget.

North Carolina ranks second in the nation in Christmas tree production, and more than 5 million trees are harvested each year. Christmas trees accounted for $75 million in farm income  in 2011.

The state is well-known for producing Fraser firs, because elevation and climate in western counties create perfect growing conditions for this tree. But North Carolina growers also produce a wide variety of trees, including blue spruce, red cedar, white pine and a number of different cypress trees.

North Carolina is also the second-largest producer of another holiday decorating favorite, poinsettias. In 2011, the state produced more than 4.4 million poinsettias and generated cash receipts of $17.6 million.

Holiday greenery is available at choose-and-cut tree farms, farmers markets and retail locations across North Carolina. You can find Christmas trees and poinsettias by searching ncfarmfresh.com.

Click below to listen to the Commissioner and Rhonda talk about holiday greenery grown in North Carolina and why a real Christmas tree is better than an artificial one.

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Southern Farm Network is a division of Curtis Media Group.

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