Mt. Rogers Area Christmas Tree Growers Association
Providing Fraser Fir trees to America's Families
From a humble beginning, the Christmas tree industry in the high country of Southwest Virginia has evolved into a business providing full and part-time employment to hundreds of local citizens. More than a quarter of a million trees will be harvested and shipped to markets across the United States this Christmas season helping to make the holidays a little brighter.
In our area it all began in the early 1950’s with one or two innovative individuals selling wild collected trees from native stands of Fraser Fir. Trees were sometimes sold for as little as fifty cents each.
Fraser Fir has excellent Christmas tree qualities and grows native only in a relatively small area of the highest elevations of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They are known for retaining their needles far longer into the holiday season than most other tree varieties.
In the early 1970’s the privately owned range of Fraser Fir in Virginia became part of the Mount Rogers National Recreational Area. However, the industry has continued to expand with farm grown trees for the Christmas tree and nursery industry. In addition to Fraser Fir, members of the Association also grow White Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce, and other species.
There is a lot of work to growing a quality Christmas tree. This year’s harvested seven-foot tree started as a seed planted twelve or thirteen years ago! Each year the trees must be sheared to assure uniform, dense foliage. Insects and weeds must be kept at bay. Growing Christmas trees is a year round job. Considering the time and work required growing a quality tree, Christmas tree growers truly must be optimists.
Please tour our site for more information about Christmas Trees, helpful articles, and links to growers and our area's recreational beauty.