Celebrate the holidays with a Virginia Grown Christmas tree

Virginia Grown Christmas treeThe Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages consumers to celebrate Christmas with a real, Virginia Grown evergreen tree. With ideal growing conditions and plenty of moisture, Virginia’s Christmas tree growers have beautiful, fresh, farm-grown trees available for this holiday season.

Search for Virginia Christmas tree growers online at VirginiaGrown.com or on the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers website, virginiachristmastrees.org. 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. Consumers should call ahead to confirm availability and hours of operation.

VDACS encourages everyone who buys a real, Virginia Grown Christmas tree to help spread the word by posting images of their decorated tree on social media using the hashtags #VaGrownChristmas and #VirginiaGrown.

Virginia has more than 500 Christmas tree farms located throughout the state. The Virginia Christmas tree industry ranks seventh in the U.S. by total trees harvested, eighth in the U.S. by total acres in production and ninth in the U.S. by number of operations with Christmas tree sales, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The size of Christmas tree farms in Virginia range from less than one 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, blue spruce, Douglas fir and Fraser fir. For every Christmas tree harvested, another two to three seedlings are planted in its place.

Freshness is an important feature of every Virginia Grown tree. Fresh-cut trees retain their needles and stay fragrant longer than trees brought in from out of state, which may be cut as much as a month or more in advance.

To encourage consumers to choose a Virginia Grown tree, Governor Ralph Northam today proclaimed December as “Virginia Christmas Tree Month” in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The announcement was made during the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers presentation of a Christmas tree and wreath to Governor Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam for Virginia’s Executive Mansion. Christmas tree growers Dave and Barbara Thomas of Valley Star Farm in Page County presented this year’s official Christmas tree and Kelly Raymond of Midlothian presented this year’s official wreath.

Valley Star Farm and Rowland are this year’s Grand Champion award winners of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association’s Annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Contest. They were joined for the presentation to the Governor and First Lady by Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring, VDACS Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh, family, friends and additional Virginia Christmas tree growers.

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