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Christmas tree growers meet in Michigan

Who is thinking about Christmas in July? The more than 700 active member farms of the National Christmas Tree Association, 29 state and regional associations, and more than 4,000 affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related supplies and services.

The NCTA will hold the annual National Tree Contest in conjunction with the Michigan and Mid-America Christmas Tree Summer Meeting July 25-26 at Peterson’s Riverview Nursery in Allegan, MI. The NCTA will not hold a national convention or conference in 2014, deciding to return to the traditional biennial format, according to an association news release.

Rick Dungey, executive director of the NCTA in Chesterfield, MO, told The Produce News that it can be quite an endeavor for a grower to transport a tree a long distance and still have it look good when it gets there.

The National Tree Contest is among growers who won state contests and selection is a two-stage process. A panel of judges picks finalists that are then voted on by attendees and a group of non-industry consumers. The winning tree will determine the farm from which White House and National Park Service representatives will handpick the Christmas trees to stand in the White House and in the vice president’s residence.

Members of the NCTA are located throughout North America, as well as in South America and Europe. It is estimated that those affiliated with the NCTA produce roughly three-quarters of the farm-raised Christmas trees in the United States.