NC Christmas tree crop flourishing

Posted by Heather Setzler - bio|email

COLFAX, NC (AP) - Just as shoppers in North Carolina prepare to find Christmas gifts, some of them will be looking for a tree to place them under.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says the state has one of the best crops ever thanks to cool weather and adequate rainfall. Troxler said North Carolina's 2009 Christmas tree harvest should top 5 million trees from more than 1,500 growers.

More than 96 percent of NC Christmas trees are Fraser firs, which are grown in the mountains. Farmers in the Piedmont and coastal plain grow pines, cedars and other varieties well-suited to warmer conditions.

North Carolina was second in the nation in Christmas tree sales in 2008 at $100 million.

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