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Northey: Consider an Iowa-grown Christmas tree

By Staff | Dec 8, 2013

DES MOINES (IDALS) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Nov. 25 encouraged Iowans to consider choosing a fresh, Iowa-grown Christmas tree to decorate their home during the upcoming holiday season.

“Selecting a fresh Christmas tree can be part of a great family tradition,” Northey said, “and is an opportunity to connect with an Iowa farmer and support the local economy.

“Iowa is fortunate to have more than 100 Christmas tree farms in all parts of the state, so everyone has the opportunity to get their own fresh tree to help celebrate.”

A directory of tree farms across Iowa is available on the Iowa Christmas Tree Grower’s website at www.IowaChristmasTrees.com.

On the site there is a “Find a Farm” link on the top left-hand corner of the page.

Besides the location of the farms, the directory also includes a phone number and hours of operation for each farm to assist in planning.

These farms devote more than 1,500 acres to Christmas tree production in Iowa, Northey said. As a result they harvest approximately 39,500 Christmas trees annually.

The result is a $1 million industry contributing to Iowa’s economy.

He offered tips to keep in mind when making a live tree purchase. These include:

1.) Be sure you know what size tree fits in your home, both height and width, before you leave. Trees always look smaller in the field, and there is nothing worse than bringing a tree indoors only to find it’s too big.

2.) Where comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes and gloves that you aren’t afraid to get dirty. You are going to a farm.

3.) Make sure the tree you pick has a straight trunk and will fit properly in your tree stand.

4.) Fresh trees need water. Once you get your tree home remember to check the water daily. Trees can use up to a gallon of water daily.

Remember that fresh cut Christmas trees are biodegradable. Recycle your tree after Christmas.

If you are not putting the tree up right away, store it in an unheated garage or some other area out of the wind and freezing temperatures. When bringing the tree into the house cut off one inch at the base end and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.

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