Oklahoma growers provide fresh Christmas trees

Fresh Christmas trees are good for the Oklahoma economy and the ecosystem, Oklahoma Forestry Services Director George Geissler said.
BY MATT DINGER mdinger@opubco.com Published: December 12, 2011
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Oklahoma-grown Christmas trees are a boon to the state's economy and ecosystem, foresters say.

“If you go to a lot of big box stores, those are going to be out-of-state trees,” Oklahoma Forestry Services Director George Geissler said.

“The biggest thing that we're trying to get people to recognize is that Oklahoma does produce local Christmas trees.”

More than 20 tree farms across the state offer a variety of evergreens, and Oklahoma Christmas Tree Association President John Knight said a freshly-cut tree typically sells for about $7 a foot. He said 20,000 to 25,000 fresh trees are sold each holiday season in Oklahoma.

“They're majestic. Some of these trees are just awesome. Walk into a home with a 10-foot Christmas tree and it will get your eye, I promise you,” Knight said.

“If you cut it fresh, it will last a lot longer. The trees will stay nice and supple as long as the moisture is moving through them.”

For Knight, the best part of a real Christmas tree is the fragrance.

“We have some trees that are so strong that you have to open the door at first to get used to it,” he said.

Tree care

Oklahoma Forestry Services suggests putting cut trees into a stand with at least a half-gallon water storage capacity. Fresh trees can use up to a gallon of water per day and water levels should be checked regularly.

Foresters say lights with low heat should be used to reduce the drying of the tree, and decorative lights should be turned off when leaving the house or before going to bed.

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