NC in Focus: Christmas Trees & Poinsettias
“What many people don’t know about North Carolina is that we sell the largest number of Christmas trees of any state on the Eastern seaboard. In 2012, our growers cut nearly 4.3 million Christmas trees. Only Oregon growers cut and sold more trees that year.” – Dee Webb, Celebrating Old North State Agriculture
From Thanksgiving turkeys and sweet potatoes to Christmas trees and poinsettias, North Carolina farmers have your holiday needs covered. Not only that, NC State is one of the key organizations providing research and information to poinsettia growers around the country.
Here’s what you need to know about Christmas tree and poinsettia production in our state:
The number of Christmas trees cut for sale in 2012 in North Carolina, according to the most recent Census of Agriculture. This is an increase of 1.2 million or 39% from 2007, when North Carolina farmers produced 3.1 million Christmas trees.
North Carolina is the second largest producer of Christmas trees after Oregon (6.4 million trees in 2012). Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin round out the top 5, but don’t expect them to knock North Carolina out of second place. Combined, these three states produced 3.4 million trees in 2012, nearly 1 million less than NC.
The share of the nation’s cut Christmas trees that come from North Carolina. The increase in production between 2007 and 2012 led to a significant rise in North Carolina’s share of the U.S. market, from 18 to 25%.
The number of NC counties that produced 200,000 or more cut Christmas trees in 2012: Ashe (2 million), Alleghany (893,000), Avery (760,000), Watauga (258,000), and Jackson (201,000). Together, these five counties accounted for 95% of the state’s Christmas tree production in 2012.
With nearly 2 million trees, Ashe County produced more cut Christmas trees than any other county in the nation in 2012. They surpassed Clackamas County, Oregon, the second largest producer, by 100,000 trees.
North Carolina also sold 4.3 million potted poinsettias in 2013, according to estimates from the USDA. This was a slight decrease from 2012, when North Carolina poinsettia producers sold 4.4 million plants.
North Carolina’s share of poinsettia plants sold in 2013 out of the 15 states surveyed by the USDA.
With 4.3 million plants in 2013, North Carolina was the second largest producer of poinsettias in the nation after California (6.9 million). Texas (3.3 million), Florida (3.2 million), and Ohio (2.9 million) round out the top 5 state producers of poinsettias.
The value of potted poinsettia sales in North Carolina in 2013. Reflecting lower production, sales were down slightly from 2012, when NC poinsettia sales were valued at $17.6 million.