Wednesday, December 02, 2009
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Christmas tree fact list

It's still big business

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[December 02, 2009]  You probably know Thanksgiving is a busy time of the year for turkey farms. But Christmas trees are still a major crop in the country and in Illinois. Despite artificial tree sales, real trees still are a big cash crop for tree farmers.

The following facts are from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information:
  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the United States since about 1850.

  • There are 291 Christmas tree farms in Illinois, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture.

  • Illinois' 291 farms rank 17th in the United States. Oregon has the most Christmas tree farms: 1,852.


  • Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states. Oregon is the top producer by volume. In 2007, it harvested more than 6.8 million trees. Illinois ranked 17th with a harvest of 112,617 trees.

  • More than 17 million Christmas trees were harvested nationwide in 2007.

  • The value of all Christmas trees harvested was $385 million in 2007. Illinois' crop was worth $6.5 million.

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  • Throughout the United States, more than 340,000 acres of land are planted in Christmas trees, including 3,843 in Illinois.

  • On average, 2,000 Christmas trees are planted per acre. No more than 1,500, however, will survive to maturity. Christmas trees typically are harvested when they reach 6 to 7 feet in height and almost always require shearing to attain their shape.

  • The best-selling varieties are the Scotch pine, Douglas fir, noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, balsam fir and white pine.

[Text from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information; LDN]


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