About 200,000 real choose-and-cut Fresh Brand Christmas trees will be sold in Indiana this year. Total sales for the state are probably over twice this amount. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, artificial tree sales are less than half of real tree sales and interest is declining compared to real trees. About 28 million real trees are sold throughout the United States each year.
According to Daniel Cassens, Professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University, and member of the National Christmas Tree Growers Association, the season is off to an excellent start. The shorter selling season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is partially responsible.
Many choose-and-cut customers visit farms each year because of pleasant memories from previous years and because it is a family event or tradition. Cassens says many of the same customers have returned again this year but he also sees two categories of new customers.
The first is young couples or singles who have never had a real tree before. Growers try to spend more time with first-time real tree buyers on how to select, handle, set up and care for a real tree. Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources has a publication specifically directed to these individuals.
The next category of new customers are those concerned about the environment. Real trees are a product of nature, produce oxygen and sequester carbon as they grow. While in the field the trees also provide wildlife habitat and once used, the trees can be mulched and returned to the soil or used to enhance wildlife and fish habitat. In costal and lake areas, they are used for beach stabilization.
There is still time to visit a real Christmas tree farm. For more information about Christmas trees or to locate a choose-and-cut tree farm near you, please visit the National Christmas Tree Growers Association at www.realchristmastrees.org.
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Selecting an Indiana-Grown Christmas Tree
Tips for First-Time Buyers of Real Christmas Trees
Daniel Cassens, Professor, Purdue University