The North Carolina Fraser Fir - America's Favorite Christmas Tree
North Carolina's Christmas tree production now ranks second in the nation in number of trees harvested. There are an estimated 1,600 Christmas tree growers in western North Carolina, producing approximately 50 million Fraser Fir Christmas trees on 25,000 acres of land.
Most Christmas tree farms in the western part of the state are family owned and operated. Several growers also produce wreaths and roping. Trees are shipped throughout the nation as well as into Mexico and Europe.
The #1 species grown in western North Carolina is the Fraser fir. Other species include white fir, Canaan fir, Colorado blue spruce, white spruce, Norway spruce, Leyland cypress and white pine. Most of the tree plantations in western North Carolina are above 3,000 feet in elevation. At lower elevations, other Christmas tree species are grown including Virginia Pine and red cedar. Christmas tree production in eastern North Carolina is all on choose-and-cut farms.
Getting a Christmas tree to the point that it can be shipped for holiday enjoyment is a long process. Most 6 - 7 foot Christmas trees on a farm have been visited over 160 times in the course of planting, fertilizing, shearing, controlling weeds, spraying for insects, and harvesting. Much of this work is done by hand.
- North Carolina produces over 19% of the real Christmas trees sold in the U.S.
- The North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is the most popular Christmas tree in North America and is shipped into every state in the country as well as the Caribbean Islands, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Japan and other points all over the world.
- The North Carolina Fraser fir has been judged the Nation's best in a contest sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association and has been chosen for the official White House Christmas tree 10 times (more than any other species)....1971, 1973, 1982, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2005, and 2007.
- Fraser fir is grown in the far Western North Carolina counties which include Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.
- There are approximately 400 choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in the state.
- An individual Christmas tree grower may sell anywhere from a few dozen trees per year to hundreds of thousands of trees per year.
- The North Carolina Fraser fir has a deep green color, soft needles, good needle retention, long-lasting aroma, and strong branches for holding heavy ornaments.
- Fraser Firs are resistant to the stresses of shipping and temperature fluctuations.