PA Ag Secretary Urges Christmas Tree Buyers to Support Local Growers

Dec 03, 2010, 10:53 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Redding to Support 'Trees for Troops' Drive Sunday in York

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Buying a locally grown Christmas tree helps to keep money and jobs in your region, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding today reminded consumers and business owners.  

"Pennsylvania is a national leader in the Christmas tree industry, boasting nearly $14 million in sales each year," said Redding. "Buying real trees this holiday season from your local grower means you will get a fresher product and your purchase supports a local business that likely buys their supplies locally and employs the people living in your community."

Redding will help local Christmas tree growers load trees donated to military families at the "Trees for Troops" drive from 1 p.m.2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, at Strathmeyer's Forest retail stand at the York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Ave., York.

Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation with more than 1,200 Christmas tree farms that grow 46 million trees on 35,000 acres. The state ranks fourth nationally in sales of cut trees with 1.2 million annually.

More than half of the Christmas trees grown and sold in Pennsylvania are Douglas and Fraser firs. Other common varieties include Balsam, Canann and Concolor, or white, fir; Scotch and White pine; and Norway, Colorado Blue and White spruce.

When selecting and caring for a cut tree, the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association's tips include:

  • Choose a green tree with needles that bend but don't break and are hard to pull off the branches;
  • Shake or bounce the tree on its stump to make sure excessive amounts of green needles do not fall off;
  • Make a fresh cut on the bottom, removing no more than one inch;
  • Use a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water and keep it filled;
  • Keep trees away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators and televisions;
  • Use indoor-rated lights only, keep cords and connections in safe working condition, and avoid using more than three light strings per extension cord; and
  • Unplug lights before leaving or going to bed.

For more information or to find a list of local growers, visit the association online at

To learn more about the "Trees for Troops" program, visit Last year, Pennsylvania growers donated nearly 1,100 trees to the cause, and nationally more than 16,500 trees were donated by more than 700 farms in 29 states. Most farms donate 10 to 50 trees.

Media contact: Jean Kummer, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture