RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne Youngkin were presented with two Christmas trees and four wreaths on November 29 by the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association (VCTGA) to help decorate Virginia’s Executive Mansion for the holidays. Ronald, Roberta, and Ryan Clouse of Clouse’s Pine Hill Farm in Winchester, VA, provided a 12’ Fraser Fir and a 7’ Canaan Fir, and John and Emily Houston of Sweet Providence Farm in Floyd County, VA, offered four wreaths. Following the presentation, Governor Youngkin presented the farm owners and the VCTGA with a proclamation proclaiming December as Virginia Christmas Tree Month. Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Joseph Guthrie, and members of the VCTGA attended the presentation.
“We thank the Clouse and Houston families for the beautiful trees and wreaths, and the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association for all they do to assist our farmers and growers,” said Secretary Lohr. “Christmas tree farming is an important part of the Commonwealth’s agriculture and forestry industries. Virginia farmers grow cypresses, firs, pines, and spruces, on more than 460 farms across the Commonwealth, for wholesale, retail, and choose-and-cut customers. Visiting a Christmas tree farm provides a great opportunity to contribute to enterprising Virginia businesses and support local farmers.”
Virginia Christmas tree farmers grow an inventory of more than 4.3 million Christmas trees and generate sales of $11.6 million. The Commonwealth is the seventh leading U.S. state in terms of total Christmas tree inventory, sixth in total tree acreage in production, and thirteenth in number of operations with Christmas tree sales. Virginia has more than 10,000 acres used for Christmas tree production, with Grayson, Floyd, Loudoun, Culpeper and Chesterfield counties leading the Commonwealth in acreage of Christmas tree production.
“In addition to the economic benefit, Christmas trees are both renewable and recyclable, and as for every tree cut, growers replant two to three seedlings in its place,” said Commissioner Guthrie. “I have fond memories of picking out the perfect Virginia grown Christmas tree with my family, and I encourage all Virginians to make their own holiday memories and traditions by supporting Virginia businesses and visiting a Christmas tree farm.”
Search for Virginia Christmas tree growers online at VirginiaGrown.com or at https://virginiachristmastrees.org. Along with choose-and-cut and pre-cut trees, many farms also sell fresh-made wreaths, garlands, holiday greenery, roping, centerpieces and tree stands. Some offer special touches for a memorable family experience such as hot beverages, holiday treats and Christmas shops. Consumers should call ahead to confirm availability, hours of operation and any safety requirements.
–Michael Wallace, VDACS