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2013 PRESS RELEASES

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December 5, 2013
THE NUMBERS TELL THE STORY; REAL CHRISTMAS TREES ARE IN
Contact: Elaine J. Lidholm, 804.786.7686

Nothing beats the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree in your home, and few events during the holiday season can top a trip to the farm to cut your own tree. The National Christmas Tree Association has the numbers to prove it. In 2012, U.S. consumers bought 24.5 million live trees.

Matthew J. Lohr, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), is not surprised.  “The Christmas tree industry in Virginia is thriving,” he said. “The Governor doesn’t issue many proclamations declaring a month devoted to a single consumer product, but he does so for Virginia Christmas trees.”

The Governor’s proclamation, viewable at here, states that Virginia ranks in the top ten among states in terms of total Christmas trees harvested, total tree acreage and number of operations. It also states that purchases of real Virginia Christmas trees benefit the growers, the environment and the state’s economy as well as those who enjoy the tree’s freshness, fragrance and lasting beauty. Live trees are also a renewable resource; for every tree harvested, growers plant two or three seedlings to take its place.

“There are many great reasons for purchasing live Virginia grown trees,” Lohr said, “but I think the final decision for most families comes down to tradition. With childhood memories of wagon rides at a Christmas tree farm and the intoxicating smell of a fresh-cut tree, I think most of us who purchase or cut our own tree do it because it’s one of the season’s best feel-good moments.” Lohr adds that many Christmas tree farms are agritourism venues where consumers purchase much more than a tree. They get the experience of a day on the farm, hay rides to the field, marshmallow roasts over a big bonfire, perhaps a visit with Santa and so much more.

Whatever the reason, it’s the season for celebrating with a live Virginia Christmas tree. For information about fresh Virginia Grown Christmas trees, VDACS offers the 2013 Virginia Grown Christmas Tree Guide, available by calling 804.225.3663 or by sending a request to VDACS, PO Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218. The information is also available online at VirginiaGrown.com.

Editor’s note: Photos of Virginia Christmas trees are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vdacs/sets/.

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