Sustainability program turns Christmas trees even greener
OSU Extension helps Christmas tree industry sustain land, water and profits
Christmas trees have become a little bit greener with a new program that the OSU Extension Service helped develop. It's called the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Farm (SERF) certification program.
To be certified, a farm must develop a plan for all its operations addressing five areas of social and environmental health: biodiversity, soil and water resources, integrated pest management, worker health and safety, and consumer and community relations. OSU Extension provides training and support to growers in developing their sustainability plans. The Oregon Department of Agriculture conducts independent inspections of the farm, and the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Growers Association provides the final certification approval.
So far, five Oregon farms have been certified. They are in Estacada, Molalla, Salem, Philomath and Leaburg.
Oregon is the nation’s top producer of Christmas trees, garnering $110 million in sales in 2013.
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service; Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association; Chal Landgren, Christmas tree specialist with OSU Extension