A seven-foot-tall, Fraser fir from Claybrooke Farm in Louisa County was named the state’s 2014 Grand Champion Christmas Tree during the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association (VCTGA) annual conference in Winchester.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) congratulates growers John and Virginia Carroll of Claybrooke Farm, who will have the honor of presenting this year’s Christmas tree at the Governor’s Mansion. A tree from their Louisa County farm will also represent the state in the 2015 National Christmas Tree Association Contest.
The panel of judges selected the winning tree on the basis of several criteria including foliage, density, uniformity, taper and marketability. A Claybrooke Farm tree previously won the state’s Grand Champion title in 2011.
This year’s Grand Champion Wreath is from Gwen Jones of Jones Tree Farm in Spotsylvania. She used White pine for her winning design, and has the honor of presenting a wreath to decorate the front door of the Governor’s Mansion throughout this year’s holiday season. In addition, a Jones Tree Farm wreath will represent Virginia in the 2015 National Christmas Tree Association Wreath Contest.
The presentation of the Grand Champion Christmas Tree and the Grand Champion Wreath took place at the VCTGA’s annual conference in Winchester on August 13-14, 2014. Virginia has more than 500 Christmas tree farms. 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 #10 in the U.S. by number of operations with Christmas tree sales, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics from 2012.
Real, Virginia Grown Christmas trees are a renewable, recyclable and natural product grown on farms throughout the state. For this year’s holiday season, consumers who want to find fresh Christmas trees in their area should visit the VCTGA site virginiachristmastrees.org, explore VirginiaGrown.com or pick up the printed Virginia Grown Christmas Tree Guide available this fall.