ABERDEEN, Wash. – Despite last week’s devastating floods, Christmas tree growers in southwest Washington have plenty of Christmas trees for those interested in choosing and cutting their own, according to Don Tapio, Washington State University Grays Harbor Extension educator.
“The tree farmers are concerned that the news coverage of the flooding and road closures may keep the public from keeping what for many is a family tradition of coming out to the farms to cut their own trees,” Tapio said. “But the roads are opening, and most farms have fields well above the flood plain and are open for business.”
Tapio says that most of the trees destined for retail Christmas tree lots were harvested and shipped before the storm. However, many tree farmers count on the added revenue from those who visit their farms to select and cut their own trees.
“Farms are businesses,” Tapio said. “For Christmas tree farmers this is their harvest season, and this is the only time of year for marketing their product. The income is especially important this year with the costs they are facing for cleaning up from the storm. Coming out and buying trees from them is one way to help them recover.”
Tapio says if you have questions or concerns call ahead to the farm you intend to visit.
Washington state has 300 tree farms with a total of 25,000 acres producing an annual wholesale value of $51 million. Kitsap, Lewis, Mason and Thurston counties are the state’s leading producers.
Christmas tree farms in Washington state can be located through the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association Web site:http://www.nwtrees.com/aboutframe.htm
Tapio says there is one major benefit to those consumers who come out to get their Christmas tree at a local farm.
“They can be sure that their tree has been well watered.”