Extension research and education support helps keep Oregon Christmas Trees on top

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Extension Christmas tree specialists are evaluating new tree varieties for resistance to diseases and insect pests.
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Extension working with growers to bring new Christmas tree varieties to Oregon

Oregon has long been known as a premier producer of excellent quality Christmas trees. In fact Oregon is the No. 1 Christmas tree producing state in the U.S. with 2011 sales of 7.3 million trees for a return of nearly $100 million.

Extension is working to help Oregon Christmas tree growers keep their No. 1 ranking through an ongoing research and outreach education program keyed to grower needs and concerns. Currently Extension’s Christmas tree specialist is evaluating new tree species brought to Oregon from the mountains of Turkey.

The new varieties are being tested for resistance to diseases and insect pests. Douglas fir and noble fir now almost totally dominate the Pacific Northwest Christmas tree industry, comprising about 97 percent of the market. It takes five to nine years to grow these types of trees to the required height for a marketable Christmas tree. Extension specialists, working closely with growers, hope the new varieties, Turkish fir, Trojan fir and Nordmann fir, will not only be more disease- and pest-resistant, but also just as good looking as the native trees Oregon growers have produced for years.

Contact: Chal Landgren

Source: Oregon State Extension Service 2011 Oregon County and State Agricultural Estimates

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