Although the variety in local Christmas trees is growing, most trees grown in North Carolina are Fraser firs, specifically 96 percent. North Carolina is second (behind Oregon) in the number of Christmas trees produced nationally. The 2010 tree harvest is predicted to top 5 millions trees from more than 1,500 growers statewide.
So here’s my confession: I’m not a big fan of the Fraser fir. It’s one of those childhood things. Growing up surrounded by nature outside of Raleigh, we would simply take a walk in the woods every year to chop down our tree – an Eastern red cedar, with soft-enough needles and that wonderful cedar smell.
Well, those woods are now the suburbs, but Eastern tree growers still harvest cedar trees. But dang if customers, even those going to choose-and-cut farms, would rather by a Fraser fir trucked in from the mountains than a cedar grown right there on the farm. I don’t get it. Good thing there are enough trees of all types to go around.