As far as natural Christmas trees are concerned, they are grown and reared on Christmas tree farms. Like any other type of Farming, Christmas tree farming is a very lucrative way of life. Growing Christmas trees is not merely a business but becomes a sort of full time job for the farmer and his family. Christmas tree farmers believe and understand that the products reared on their farms symbolizes the spirit of Christmas, like nothing else.
Christmas Tree Farms in United States
Most of the Christmas trees in the U.S. are a product of Christmas Tree Farms. They are grown for about ten years, after which they are cut and new one's planted in their place. According to a census conducted in 2002 by the USDA (United States Department Of Agriculture), 21, 904 Christmas tree farms were growing conifers for the cut Christmas tree market. The survey is conducted every five years, and it further stipulates that 446,996 acres were planted in Christmas Trees, and 13,849 farms harvested cut trees. The top 5% of the Christmas tree farms sold 61% of all their trees and the top 26% sold 84% of their trees.
21% of the farms were less than two acres and sold an average of 115 trees per farm.
In the United States, Christmas trees have been sold commercially since mid-19 th century. At first there were no Christmas tree farms and all Christmas trees came from the forest. 95% of the thirty-six million Christmas trees that are produced each year are sold directly from Christmas tree farms. The to Christmas tree producing states in the United States are California, Oregon, Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. In 1998, 8.6 million Christmas trees were grown in Oregon alone which incidentally is the largest Christmas tree growing state in U.S.
More than 21,000 Christmas tree growers can be found in the United States.
In fact the Christmas tree industry is holds the reputation of giving employment to 10,000 people .
Christmas Tree Farms in United Kingdom
The British Christmas Tree Growers Association is responsible for protecting the interests of all the Christmas tree farmers In Britain and Northern Ireland. Any one who intends to grow or is already growing Christmas trees can join the BCTGA, as it is popularly called. Even those who provide good and services to the Christmas tree sector are eligible for an associate membership.
Members of the BCTGA cultivate well-shaped and sturdy trees especially for the Christmas festivities.
A competition is held each year to find the best Christmas tree grower from amongst the best in the ranks of the BCTGA. Pine, Fir, Spruce and Wreaths, are the four categories into which the entries are separated. In any category one can give two entries. Foliage, shape and marketability is what they area ranked on.
The competition awards a prize for ‘Grower of the Year’ and the winner is afforded the honour of providing 10 Downing Street with their tree.
Even the wreath hung in the famous building is provided by the winner of the ‘Best Wreath' category.