Jola Szubielski, Lisa Koumjian 518-457-0752|
November 21, 2017
State Agriculture Commissioner Encourages New Yorkers to Buy Local Trees This Holiday Season
First New York State Grown & Certified Tree Farm Donating Tree to be Displayed in the New York State Capitol
Additional Local Trees from the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley Selected for Albany and New York City Celebrations Nov. 27, Dec. 3 and 8
$8 Million Economic Impact from New York's Christmas Tree Industry
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged New Yorkers to buy local Christmas trees and support tree growers across the State this holiday season. Every year, the State assists hundreds of farms statewide, connecting them with new markets and promotional opportunities to support the $8 million Christmas tree industry. This year, the first local tree farm to participate in the State’s New York State Grown & Certified program will donate a tree to be displayed at the New York State Capitol in Albany. Additional trees from farms in the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley have been selected for Albany and New York City celebrations.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York is one of the largest producers of locally-grown Christmas trees anywhere in the country and there is nothing quite like a fresh, locally-grown tree during the holidays. They look better, smell great and stay fresher longer. I’m proud that New York State is quite literally shining the spotlight on our Christmas tree industry and using fresh local trees at its State buildings and in its holiday celebrations for everyone to see and enjoy.”
New York State Grown & Certified Christmas Trees
To promote New York-grown trees, Commissioner Ball today joined the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York in Orange County for a tree cutting to kick-off the holiday season. An eight-foot Douglas Fir donated by Emmerich Tree Farm in Warwick will be prominently displayed for the holidays in the New York State Capitol. Emmerich Tree Farm is the first farm to participate in the State’s New York State Grown & Certified program.
New York State Grown & Certified promotes New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. For Christmas tree farms, participants are certified for growing local trees and for participating in the State Soil and Water Conservation District’s Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) plan.
Additional tree farms in the program are: Beckwith Family Christmas Trees, Hannibal, NY; Forevergreens, Springville, NY; Franke Farms, Marion, NY; Rocking Horse Farm, Jamesville, NY; and Abel’s Tree Farm, Verbank, NY.
Upstate Trees on Display at Albany and New York City Events
In addition to connecting the Emmerich Tree Farm to the New York State Capitol, the State has partnered with the Christmas Tree Farmers Association to bring a Christmas tree from Domes Tree Farm in Bliss, Wyoming County to New York City for display during the holidays.
A 32-foot Norway spruce will shine brightly at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building Plaza in Harlem during an annual holiday celebration on Thursday, December 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature live family-friendly entertainment, including music, a visit from Santa, and a wonderful free holiday garland-making activity sponsored by the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York.
At Lincoln Square Park in New York City, a 30-foot Concolor Fir, also provided by Domes Tree Farm, will be displayed and lit during the 17th Annual Winter’s Eve event on Monday, November 27, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
In addition, two ten-foot Canaan fir trees from Abel’s Tree Farm, located in Verbank, Dutchess County, will be on display in the Empire State Plaza Concourse. Abel’s Tree Farm is also a New York State Grown & Certified grower. A holiday marketplace will take place on the Concourse from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 3 prior to the Tree Lighting event on the Plaza. There will be a free hands-on centerpiece and garland-making activity provided by Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York members, the Naccarato Family, from Kingston, Ulster County.
New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said, “Governor Cuomo has made promoting New York State grown and produced products a key initiative, so we are pleased that we will have beautiful New York State trees in front of the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, on the Empire State Plaza concourse, and in the Capitol. In addition, the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York members will be a great addition to our tree-lighting event on December 3, helping visitors learn how to use fresh pine boughs to make garland and centerpieces.”
With more than 300,000 New York-grown trees sold by 875 farms in Upstate New York, the State ranks fourth in the U.S. in the number of farms selling Christmas trees. The industry supports an economic impact of $8 million in New York State, according to the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York. Kurt Emmerich from Emmerich Tree Farm said, “We're excited to be recognized as New York State's first New York Grown and Certified Christmas Tree Farm. And, we are particularly honored to have Agriculture Commissioner Ball cut the ceremonial first choose-and-cut Christmas Tree here at Emmerich Tree Farm.”
To find the New York-grown Christmas tree vendor nearest to you, visit the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York website here.
Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York Executive Director Mary Jeanne Packer said, “The nearly 400 members of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association are proud to be participating in these many exciting holiday season events across the State. Christmas tree farming is a year-round job; and our growers truly appreciate the recognition that this time of year brings to their efforts throughout the season to plant, maintain, and trim these beautiful trees. Christmas tree farms provide many environmental benefits including adding oxygen to the air, improving soil and water quality, and providing habitat for wildlife.”
2017 Press Releases