New Yorkers encouraged to purchase Christmas trees from local farms

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FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2015, file photo, Tommy Lawson looks out into rows of Christmas trees as his family browses for their tree at the John T Nieman Nursery in Hamilton, Ohio. For many people, it’s hard not to think about the upcoming holidays already. Some folks are holding early Christmas celebrations so they can be with elderly parents outdoors while the weather still allows it. As the holidays approach, the pandemic is forcing people to come up with creative ways to celebrate. Experts say rituals have always been with us and there has always been room for improvisation. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — According to the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York, local Christmas tree farms contribute $13.8 million to the agricultural economy.

To encourage residents to continue to purchase locally grown trees, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball held the annual tree cutting at River Bend Christmas Tree Farm in Lake Luzerne on November 23.

According to the New York State Department of Agriculture, New York ranks sixth in the United States for the number of acres dedicated to growing Christmas trees. There are about 300,000 New York-grown trees sold by more than 750 farms in Upstate New York, which allows the state to rank this highly.

Commissioner Ball urged residents to celebrate the holiday season by cutting down their own trees and supporting the economy.

“I encourage New Yorkers to shop early this year and choose local New York farms when looking for that perfect tree this holiday season,” Ball said. “Visiting a tree farm this year to cut your own tree is a great, socially distanced, and fun way to celebrate this season of giving while supporting your local farmer and the agricultural economy.”

To further promote the industry and provide a boost to farmers statewide, the Department is sponsoring displays of local trees and handmade wreaths in all of New York’s Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores statewide. More information on these locations can be found on the Taste NY website.

Those interested in shopping at local Christmas tree vendors can find farms near them on the NYS Grown & Certified website and the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York website.

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