Business & Economy
5:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Great Harvest For NC Christmas Tree Farmers

Photo: A tree farm in Rutherwood, N.C.
A tree farm in Rutherwood, N.C.
Credit BlueRidgeKitties / Flickr

When Jessie Davis started tagging trees for sale in his 500-acre farm in western North Carolina this fall, he noticed his Frasier firs were taller and brighter than they were in previous years. He knew the reason was simple: this was a rainy year.

 Christmas tree farmers across North Carolina are saying a wet spring and summer is bringing them a crop stronger than in previous years, according to the state Department of Agriculture. That includes Davis, who owns River Ridge Tree Farms in Ashe County and explains live trees this year are heavier in part because they’ve absorbed more moisture than in previous season. 

 "You could take a tree we’re cutting and you could put a match to the end of it," Davis said. "I don’t know if you could set it on fire if you tried."

 North Carlolina farmers export as many as 5,000,000 Christmas trees ever year, more than 80 percent of them Frasier Firs, said  Department of Agriculture spokesman Bill Glenn. The state is the country’s second largest producer of Christmas trees after Oregon. 

 A directory of tree retailers is available at ncfarmfresh.com.