The Business Examiner of the South Sound ran a terrific story about our area’s Christmas Trees being shipped all over the world. Here are some facts as presented in their article titled Holiday Harvest:
“From field to foreign:
– Trees are ordered in the fall and planted early in the year. Depending on the variety, trees take between eight and 20 years to mature into a 6-foot tree.
– Trees slated for South Pacific ports such as Hawaii are harvested three weeks before they are scheduled to arrive on the lots.
– Before they leave South Sound farms, the trees are taken to an on-site farm processing yard by helicopter sling or transport truck to be shaken and inspected. The trees are then baled and loaded into refrigerated cargo containers, where the temperature is dropped to freezing to slow the trees death.
– The trees are driven to shipping ports in Washington and Oregon where they make the several-day journey oversees. Retailers in Hawaii often display just a few trees at a time from the containers in order to keep the trees fresh.
Washington trees at a glance:
-25,000 acres of trees are tended to by 300 growers.
-2.3 million trees are expected to be harvested this year and will bring in an estimated $51 million in wholesale retail dollars.
– Counties with the greatest production include Kitsap, Lewis, Mason and Thurston
-92 percent of trees exported, with California being the largest market.
-Oversees and foreign markets include Japan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Guam and Puerto Rico.
-Major destinations include California (47 percent); other western states (11 percent); Gulf states (9 percent); Mexico (13 percent); and Atlantic states (2 percent).
Source: Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association”