Despite the fact that 2020 has been one of our most unusual years in memory, it is “that time of year again!” The holiday season is here and many families will venture out, wearing masks no doubt, to buy the annual Christmas tree. As always, the Georgia Forestry Commission is proud to endorse the purchase of a live Christmas tree from one of the state’s many tree farms.

The Georgia Forestry Commission maintains a list of growers throughout the state who can supply you and your family with a fresh, fragrant Christmas tree, at GaTrees.org. Tree farms that offer cut-your own or ready-to-load trees are located all across the state.

Besides the marvelous fragrance a live Christmas tree provides, you can be proud of your support of Georgia’s forest landowners when purchasing live over manufactured. Our state’s 24 million acres of forestland provide each of us with environmental services and products we depend on all year long. Clean air. Filtered water. Homes for wildlife and places for camping, hiking and many types of outdoor recreation. Everyday products for our lives, such as paper and lumber. Plus, live trees are recyclable, and it’s easier than ever now to find a place to drop off your tree for use as mulch.

Here are some fun facts to remember when you choose a live tree:

  • It takes 5-7 years for a tree to grow to cutting height.
  • The most popular Christmas trees are Leyland, Carolina Sapphire and Blue Ice cypresses.
  • The average customer makes two cuts on their chosen tree before turning the task over to a pro at the farm!

Another plus for the live tree option is that the growing/harvesting process has a very low impact on the land. In addition, very few pesticides are used on the trees. And of course, local farmers and local economies benefit when crops are good and business is brisk.

Remember, too, that now is the best time of year to plant trees of your own. In addition to the tens of millions of seedlings planted by the $36.2 billion Georgia forestry industry, the Georgia Forestry Commission is your one-stop-shop for everything trees. Check our online seedling store at GFC seedlings to see which varieties remain in stock for your winter planting. In addition, you’ll find a number of resources with information about tree planting – care for your trees. Check our “Ask the Arborist” feature for commonly asked questions about tree care and a library of helpful, educational videos. Plus, you can reach GFC foresters throughout the state – locate a GFC office – who are ready to help you understand the programs and practices that will enhance your forested land.

From your fellow Georgians and friends at the Georgia Forestry Commission, Happy Holidays and here’s to a safe and happy 2021!

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