(ALBANY, NY) ― Agency Leaders Encourage New York Residents to Purchase a New York-Grown Christmas Tree this Holiday Season.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball and Kenneth Adams, President, CEO & Commissioner of Empire State Development today announced that a concerted effort by state government in cooperation with the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York has resulted in thousands more New York-grown Christmas trees going on sale in the New York City market this holiday season. Each of these trees will be labeled with the state’s “Pride of NY” logo to help consumers identify this New York agricultural product.
Due to competition, there has not been a significant increase in the number of New York grown Christmas trees sold in the New York City market in many years. This year, a band of upstate growers got together and with help from the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Empire State Development, connections were made with retailers in the New York City area, who in turn agreed to collectively sell at least 2,000 more New York State-grown trees this year than in 2013.
“New York is one of the largest producers of locally-grown Christmas trees anywhere in the country,” said Commissioner Ball. “Producers came to us this year asking for help and working with our partners at Empire State Development, we made significant progress in helping our growers bring these trees to the New York City market. There is nothing quite like a fresh, locally grown Christmas tree. I encourage New Yorkers to purchase one this holiday season and support this thriving agricultural industry.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said: “ESD is proud to partner with Ag & Markets to help New York State farmers once again connect to the New York City marketplace. With a growing number of vendors across the city now participating and selling New York State grown Christmas trees, we’re supporting our State’s farmers and highlighting the importance of buying home-grown products.”
New York State ranks sixth nationwide in Christmas tree acreage, with 18,623 acres according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture. The state also ranked 8th in the Census in trees cut in 2012, where 844 farms cut 274,444 trees for the holiday season.
Locally grown Christmas trees are much sought after by consumers because they hold their needles longer and have that fresh holiday scent well into the holiday season and beyond. Some of the species grown and sold in New York include Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Nordmann Fir, Turkish Fir, Blue Spruce and White Pine.
Thanks to funding provided to the Christmas Tree Farmers of New York in the 2014-15 State Budget, the Christmas Tree Farmers of New York implemented a number of targeted marketing campaigns in time for the upcoming holiday season. Among their initiatives:
•A cross-promotion between Christmas tree farmers and the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail, which includes a special website: www.nywineandtrees.com.
•A partnership with Wayne County’s tourism office to distribute more than 15,000 brochures on New York-grown trees to the Rochester market.
Mary Jeanne Packer, Executive Director, Christmas Tree Farmers Association of NY, said, “NYS Christmas tree farmers truly appreciate all of the support that our industry has received this year from the two agencies and the state legislature. There are over 850 Christmas tree farms across the state offering a variety of trees and visitor experiences this holiday season. We are delighted with the strong early customer response to our state-wide radio campaign and tourism co-promotions.”
Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president, said, “People think of buying local when it comes to food. The same should be said for purchasing a real Christmas tree. Fake trees just don’t cut it. The efforts to expand the market for New York grown products into the Big Apple will support upstate farmers and guarantee customers will have the freshest trees possible for the holiday. New York Farm Bureau would like to thank NYSDAM and ESDC for promoting New York grown Christmas Trees and helping to make this new opportunity possible.”
This holiday season, New York-grown Christmas trees will also be located in the Governor’s Mansion and the State Capitol in Albany, as well as Lincoln Square and Gracie Mansion in New York City.
To find the closest New York-grown Christmas tree to you, including trees in New York City, please visit the Christmas Tree Farmers of New York’s website, located at: www.christmastreesny.org/index.php.