December is the perfect time to support the "buy local" movement by choosing a Georgia Grown Christmas tree. According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, fresh, pre-cut trees and choose-and-cut live trees are available throughout the state. A wide variety of species is available, including cedars, pines, Fraser fir and Leyland cypress.
"Choosing a Georgia-grown tree is good for the local economy and supports our state's vibrant, sustainable forestry industry," said Robert Farris, Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. "That's the foundation for our partnership with the Department of Agriculture's 'Georgia Grown' campaign – to bring our locally produced goods to the attention of consumers everywhere."
To find a local retailer, visit GaTrees.org. and click on "Christmas Tree Directory.
"Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing a live tree:
* Select a symmetrical tree with a straight main stem for optimal stability.
Make sure the needles are firmly attached to branches.
Trim 1-2" off the butt end of a pre-cut tree to allow fast water absorption; place in water as soon as possible after purchase.
Keep the root ball moist on balled-in-burlap or potted trees; plant outside as soon as possible after the holidays. Tree planting instructions can be found at GaTrees.org.
Reduce tree flammability by keeping it watered and checking the tree stand's water supply regularly.
Use only UL-approved lights; LED lights are coolest and safest. Always turn them off before leaving or retiring for the night.
“I encourage everyone to visit a local tree farm and select a Georgia Grown Christmas tree from their favorite retailer, or purchase a tree from one of our state farmers markets,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “Georgia offers a variety of Christmas trees and visiting a tree farm provides a special holiday experience the whole family can enjoy.”
For more information, contact: Wendy Burnett, 478.751.3535 firstname.lastname@example.orgGaTrees.org.
For more information about Christmas trees, Georgia grown products, the Georgia Forestry Commission and its wide variety of services, visit GaTrees.org. For more information on the Georgia Grown program, please visit http://www.GeorgiaGrown.com.
Photo credit: Berry Tree Farm