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Family experience enhances Christmas tree demand

A national Christmas tree checkoff is helping bring back demand for real trees. 

Christmas Tree Promotion Board Executive Director Marsha Grey tells Brownfield their checkoff was established in 2015 after years of declining demand reduced production and the number of growers.

“That’s really the purpose of the promotion board, to bring that back for fresh-cut Christmas trees, create that market so our growers can produce more.”

Christmas growers now self-assess themselves 15 cents for every harvested tree grown in the U.S. and sold and on imported trees.

“It really is very much on the grower, the producer, to report that information, obviously on imported trees we work with U.S. Customs.”

Promotion efforts are working.  In a recent survey by the organization, more than 20 percent of consumers said they were more likely to buy a real Christmas tree this year after having an artificial one last year or no tree at all. 

“They have a lot of interest in the sustainability of a real tree, the fact that it’s environmentally friendly, it can biodegrade, it can be used for mulch, we’re always replanting.”

Grey says the main driver is the family experience and the pandemic has made the outdoor activity even more popular.

Oregon leads the nation in Christmas tree production, followed by North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

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