Northey: Iowa Christmas trees contribute to economy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Northey: Iowa Christmas trees contribute to economy

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Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey is pushing Iowans to consider buying local when shopping for a Christmas tree.

"Selecting a fresh Christmas tree can be part of a great family tradition and is an opportunity to connect with an Iowa farmer and support the local economy," Northey said. "Iowa is fortunate to have more than 100 Christmas tree farms in all parts of the state, so everyone has the opportunity to get their own fresh tree to help celebrate."

An index of tree farms is on the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers website, located here. Combined, these farms devote 1,500 acres to growing trees. They harvest nearly 40,000 trees every year, making it a $1 million industry.

Northey offered the following trips for a successful trip.

  • Be sure you know what size tree fits in your home, both height and width, before you leave. Trees always look smaller in the field and there is nothing worse than bringing a tree indoors only to find it's too big.
  • Wear comfortable clothes, sturdy shoes, and gloves that you aren't afraid to get dirty. You are going to a farm!
  • Make sure the tree you pick has a straight trunk and will fit properly in your tree stand.
  • Fresh trees need water. Once you get your tree home remember to check the water daily. Trees can use up to a gallon of water daily.
  • Make sure you unplug any tree lights before you leave home or go to bed.
  • Remember - fresh cut Christmas trees are biodegradable! Recycle your tree after Christmas.

He also said keeping the tree in an unheated garage will help preserve it prior to display, and that when you bring it in, you should cut one inch off the base and submerge the end in warm water.

"Follow these tips and your will be able to enjoy a beautiful, fresh and locally grown Christmas tree throughout the holiday season," Northey said.

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