Deck the halls with Virginia Grown Christmas trees
Nothing says Christmas like a real, Virginia Grown evergreen tree. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) reports the state’s growers have beautiful, fresh, farm-grown trees available for this holiday season. To encourage consumers to choose a Virginia Grown tree, Governor McAuliffe proclaims December as “Virginia Christmas Tree Month” in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Click here to view the Governor’s Proclamation.
Jeff Miller of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association emphasizes that it’s a great year for Virginia Christmas trees, with ideal growing conditions and plenty of moisture. Freshness is an important feature of every locally 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.
Virginia has more than 500 Christmas tree farms located throughout the state. The Virginia Christmas tree industry ranks #7 in the U.S. by total trees harvested, #8 in the U.S. by total acres in production and #9 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. 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.
Search for Virginia Christmas tree growers online at VirginiaGrown.com or on the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers website, virginiachristmastrees.org. VDACS encourages consumers to call ahead to confirm availability and hours of operation.
This afternoon Virginia growers presented Christmas trees and wreaths to Governor and Mrs. McAuliffe for Virginia’s Executive Mansion. Christmas tree grower Robert O’Keeffe of Rifton Farm and Nursery in Floyd County presented this year’s official Christmas trees for the Executive Mansion. Dreama Huffman of Spruce Ridge Tree Farm in Giles County presented the wreaths. These growers won Grand Champion awards at the annual meeting of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association earlier this year. They were joined for the presentation by Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, VDACS Commissioner Sandy Adams, as well as a few family, friends and additional Virginia Christmas tree growers. Click here for high-resolution photos available on the VDACS Flickr site.