States that produce the most Christmas trees

States that produce the most Christmas trees

Stacker compiled data from the 2017 USDA Agricultural Census (released in 2019), conducted every five years, to identify the states that produce the most Christmas trees.

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Nothing beats a real Christmas tree, from the crisp evergreen scent to choosing the perfect Tannenbaum to adorn with glistening ornaments come December. Across the U.S., more than 15 million trees are harvested from 15,000 tree farms, where 295,162 acres are in production. Christmas trees are a big business, bringing in about $377 million in sales.

The tradition of chopping down and purchasing an authentic Christmas tree from a local farm makes for an unforgettable annual family outing. It's also a sustainable practice: While artificial trees may be made of nonbiodegradable plastics and could contain harmful chemicals, real Christmas trees are a renewable resource and can even be recycled. What's more, for every real Christmas tree sold, as many as three seedlings are planted.

Christmas tree farming creates more than 100,000 full-time or part-time jobs. The nation's Christmas tree farms not only fill a critical economic need but also preserve miles upon miles of sacred green space and wildlife.

Stacker compiled data from the 2017 USDA Agricultural Census (released in 2019), conducted every five years, to identify the states that produce the most Christmas trees. States are ranked by the number of trees harvested in each. Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Nevada, and Arizona did not report information to be included on the list.

Read on to find out which states grow the most trees and which produce more than 1 million.

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#45. New Mexico

Canva

- Total trees cut: 938
- Total farms: 34
- Total acres in production: 626
- Total sales: $16K

Until Christmas 2021, Albuquerque displayed "Henry's Tree," a 55-foot-tall treelike structure with about 150 trees as the branches. The tradition has since been discontinued as the property has come under new ownership.

#44. Utah

Ken L. / Flickr

- Total trees cut: 1,700
- Total farms: 35
- Total acres in production: 206
- Total sales: $80K

People with a permit in Utah can cut their own Christmas trees, so long as they are subalpine fir trees and measure 20 feet or shorter. The permit is issued by the Forest Service and is good right until Christmas Day.

#43. South Dakota

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 2,648
- Total farms: 14
- Total acres in production: 95
- Total sales: $141K

Ninety Christmas trees are the centerpiece of one of South Dakota's beloved Christmas traditions. At Christmas at the Capitol in Pierre, visitors can observe the dozens of spectacularly decorated trees that have been dolled up by nonprofits, businesses, and communities.

#42. Hawaii

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 3,727
- Total farms: 29
- Total acres in production: 61
- Total sales: $261K

Although Hawaii may not be the typical winter wonderland that comes to mind, Hawaiians still relish the tradition of having fresh Christmas trees. However, the islands only have a handful of Christmas tree farms; many trees get shipped to the state from the mainland.

#41. Delaware

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 5,401
- Total farms: 24
- Total acres in production: 246
- Total sales: $235K

The Christmas tree erected yearly in Rehoboth Beach is typically the tallest in the state. This year's lighting celebration takes place Nov. 25 and features a singalong with the Clear Space Theatre Company.

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#40. Kentucky

camerabee // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 5,869
- Total farms: 90
- Total acres in production: 567
- Total sales: Data not available

The day after Thanksgiving typically proves to be busy for most Christmas tree farmers in the state, so if you're set on a Kentucky-bred pine, make sure to tag your pick early. One of the biggest holiday celebrations in the state is Light Up Louisville, featuring a massive Christmas tree and pop-up skating rink.

#39. Montana

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 7,586
- Total farms: 45
- Total acres in production: 380
- Total sales: Data not available

A Christmas tree from Montana holds the record of the tallest-ever tree to be displayed at the United States Capitol in Washington D.C., towering at 89 feet tall. Farms throughout Montana offer cut-your-own, pre-packed, and pre-cut trees. There is plenty of land to explore if you'd prefer to cut your own out in a dense forest, but you'll need a permit to do so.

#38. Arkansas

Edmund Garman // Flicker

- Total trees cut: 7,938
- Total farms: 29
- Total acres in production: 266
- Total sales: $341K

The Arkansas Christmas Tree Growers Association was born in the late 1970s; today, the association operates an annual meeting and workshop and purchases tags, seedlings, and caps for its members. Though its website is dormant for most of the year, it pops up annually as the autumn season rolls in. Visitors can use the site to locate the nearest tree farm and see a complete list of growers throughout the state.

#37. Kansas

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 8,444
- Total farms: 69
- Total acres in production: 599
- Total sales: $519K

Kansas has experienced a shortage of Christmas trees in 2022, along with higher shipping rates. Combined with inflation, the result is higher prices for those shopping for a tree. A 10-foot tree that went for $170 in years past might run you as much as $200 this year.

#36. Oklahoma

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 8,546
- Total farms: 29
- Total acres in production: 172
- Total sales: $373K

The Oklahoma Forestry Services urges residents to purchase fresh, Oklahoma-bred trees to support the state's agricultural industries and forge a connection with rural Oklahoma. Oklahoma's most commonly grown Christmas tree is the Virginia pine, which takes four to five years to grow into an average-sized Christmas tree.

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#35. Nebraska

MONGO // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 9,907
- Total farms: 64
- Total acres in production: 434
- Total sales: $487K

Nebraska's many Christmas tree farms offer species that include the Scotch pine, Austrian pine, white pine, Colorado blue spruce, and Douglas fir. Locally grown trees support the local economy and environment and can even be recycled come New Year's.

#34. Colorado

Anthony Quintano // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 10,173
- Total farms: 137
- Total acres in production: 2,681
- Total sales: $278K

Golden Gate Canyon State Park near Denver offers residents the opportunity to chop down their Christmas trees this year. Those interested must purchase a permit and can choose between several tree varieties, including Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and Rocky Mountain juniper trees.

#33. Louisiana

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 11,545
- Total farms: 81
- Total acres in production: 340
- Total sales: $322K

Four species of trees make up most of the Christmas trees sold at Louisiana farms: the Leyland cypress, Arizona cypress, Virginia pine, and eastern red cedar. The Leyland cypress is the most popular tree in the Bayou State and is known for its long life span after being cut.

#32. Mississippi

Natalie Maynor // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 12,889
- Total farms: 116
- Total acres in production: 1,051
- Total sales: $568K

Mississippi reached its peak Christmas tree production in 1985, with 450 farms selling 330,000 trees, and production in the state has increased slightly since 1993. The Leyland cypress is one of the most popular varieties of Christmas trees in Mississippi. In contrast, the Virginia pine, which is popular in other states, has proven difficult to grow and maintain.

#31. Florida

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 13,968
- Total farms: 158
- Total acres in production: 1,758
- Total sales: $377K

Christmas tree farms in Florida grow red cedar, Virginia pine, spruce pine, and Leyland cypress trees for the holiday season. The state reports it takes up to six years to produce a properly shaped tree that reaches 6-8 feet.

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#30. Alabama

Alby Headrick // Flicker

- Total trees cut: 17,038
- Total farms: 82
- Total acres in production: 984
- Total sales: $662K

The Leyland cypress is the most popular Christmas tree variety in Alabama, but it requires year-round work. Farmers must trim the trees two to three times yearly to maintain the classic cone shape associated with Christmas trees.

#29. Rhode Island

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 17,121
- Total farms: 65
- Total acres in production: 592
- Total sales: $773K

Christmas trees are a $6 million business in Rhode Island and a significant part of the state's agricultural industry. The most common tree varieties in Rhode Island are the balsam fir, Colorado blue spruce, the white fir, and the Douglas fir.

#28. Missouri

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 26,557
- Total farms: 115
- Total acres in production: 1,565
- Total sales: $874K

The Missouri Department of Conservation suggests utilizing Christmas trees after the holiday season. From providing wildlife shelter to bonfire kindling, there are myriad ways to keep these living trees out of the waste stream and put them to good use.

#27. Iowa

Wikipedia

- Total trees cut: 27,387
- Total farms: 139
- Total acres in production: 1,257
- Total sales: $910K

Iowan families can visit one of about 100 choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in Iowa to find the perfect centerpiece for their homes. The bestselling tree varieties in the state are the Scotch pine and the white pine.

#26. South Carolina

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 27,578
- Total farms: 138
- Total acres in production: 1,697
- Total sales: $869K

Popular Christmas tree varieties in South Carolina include the Carolina sapphire, the blue ice, the Leyland and Murray cypress, the eastern red cedar, and the Deodar cedar. The South Carolina Christmas Tree Association also supports the Trees for Troops program, which provides Christmas trees to military personnel.

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#25. Idaho

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 31,811
- Total farms: 120
- Total acres in production: 728
- Total sales: Data not available

The Boise National Forest in Idaho sells as many as 5,000 permits yearly for Idahoans to chop their own Christmas tree, with approximately 1,000 of those permits going to people living in Idaho City. Some even suggest making a day out of the venture, with a bonfire and picnic packed with hot cocoa or s'mores.

#24. Georgia

James St. John // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 32,161
- Total farms: 205
- Total acres in production: 2,412
- Total sales: $924K

Though Fraser firs are some of the most popular Christmas trees in Georgia, most of them sold in Georgia come from North Carolina. Georgia's hot summers and mild winters make growing Fraser firs challenging, and they can become infected with a root fungus.

#23. Texas

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 34,578
- Total farms: 125
- Total acres in production: 945
- Total sales: $1.55M

Because Texas experiences hot and dry summers and has a limited soil variety, only a few types of Christmas trees thrive within the state. Texans can choose from a Virginia pine—the most common Christmas tree variety in the South—an Afghan pine, Leyland cypress, or Carolina sapphire.

#22. West Virginia

ForestWander // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 42,830
- Total farms: 231
- Total acres in production: 2,363
- Total sales: Data not available

For most of West Virginia's history, fresh Christmas trees came from Maine or Canada. Still, after World War II, Christmas tree farming moved south and became a profitable business in West Virginia. The most popular tree varieties are the Scotch pine and the white pine, but farmers also grow more expensive types, including Norway and blue spruces and Douglas firs.

#21. Maryland

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 52,677
- Total farms: 187
- Total acres in production: 2,177
- Total sales: $2.02M

Christmas tree varieties grown and sold in Maryland include the Scotch pine, the white pine, blue spruce, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, and Canaan fir. The Maryland Christmas Tree Association promotes the "real Christmas tree industry" and has more than 75 members.

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#20. Tennessee

James St. John // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 54,005
- Total farms: 137
- Total acres in production: 1,969
- Total sales: $1.31M

Tennessee's most common varieties of Christmas trees are the eastern white pine, the Fraser fir, the Leyland cypress, Norway spruce, Scotch pine, and Arizona cypress. The Tennessee Christmas Tree Growers Association was founded in 1971 and helped the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry establish Christmas tree seed orchards.

#19. Massachusetts

MA Dept. of Tourism // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 82,524
- Total farms: 390
- Total acres in production: 2,801
- Total sales: Data not available

Massachusetts-bred Christmas trees include the balsam; concolor; Fraser, Douglas, and Noble fir; as well as the Scotch and white pine. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection also recycles Christmas trees in more than 200 cities and towns after the holiday season.

#18. Illinois

Ivo Shnador // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 84,442
- Total farms: 272
- Total acres in production: 3,748
- Total sales: $3.92M

In 1913, the tradition of an official Chicago Christmas tree started when Mayor Carter H. Harrison lit the city's first tree in Grant Park. Although Illinois has an abundance of Christmas tree farms, the artificial Christmas tree was first manufactured in Chicago in 1958.

#17. New Jersey

Famartin // Wikipedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 85,781
- Total farms: 888
- Total acres in production: 5,288
- Total sales: $2.79M

Reportedly, only one Christmas tree farmer in New Jersey plants trees from seeds. The rest are planted as seedlings, bare-root plants, or plugs because the trees don't reproduce until they reach maturity at around 20 years old. Popular varieties in New Jersey include the Scotch pine and Douglas fir, as well as the balsam and concolor firs.

#16. Indiana

MrBook // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 90,519
- Total farms: 205
- Total acres in production: 2,663
- Total sales: $2.9M

Indiana families can choose between a Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white pine, Canaan fir, or Fraser fir for their Christmas trees. In addition to trees, many Indiana Christmas tree farms also offer fresh wreaths, garlands, and tree accessories.

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#15. Connecticut

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 98,500
- Total farms: 538
- Total acres in production: 4,149
- Total sales: $4.89M

Connecticut only grows one type of Christmas tree native to the state: the white pine. In all, however, at least a dozen varieties of conifers can be grown in Connecticut. The Scotch pine used to be produced in the state, but it became too vulnerable to insects and diseases.

#14. New Hampshire

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 106,703
- Total farms: 234
- Total acres in production: 2,892
- Total sales: $3.35M

Most Christmas tree farms in New Hampshire are family-owned and operated. Visitors can choose to pick out and chop down their own tree at one of the state's many farms or choose from a pre-cut tree.

#13. Vermont

ihamr // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 110,459
- Total farms: 260
- Total acres in production: 3,650
- Total sales: $2.61M

Popular Christmas tree varieties in New England include the Scotch pine, white pine, white spruce, blue spruce, balsam fir, and Douglas fir. All of these trees are conifers, meaning they produce cones and have needles instead of leaves.

#12. Maine

Justin Russell // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 128,601
- Total farms: 332
- Total acres in production: 4,012
- Total sales: $3.57M

Most Maine Christmas trees are Canadian hemlocks, concolor firs, Austrian pines, and blue or white spruces. The white spruce is the most commonly sold spruce in the area.

#11. California

Peter Kaminsky // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 138,803
- Total farms: 324
- Total acres in production: 9,836
- Total sales: $4.85M

The climate in California isn't particularly hospitable to farming Christmas trees, so about 45% of Christmas trees harvested in the Pacific Northwest end up in California. However, the silvertip tree grows in California and is sourced from the Sierra Nevada mountains. The silvertip is considered the perfect shape for a Christmas tree because of its sturdy shape.

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#10. Ohio

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 155,572
- Total farms: 737
- Total acres in production: 7,714
- Total sales: $4.89M

Ohio families can choose between several species for their Christmas tree: the Austrian pine, Scotch pine, eastern white pine, red pine, southwestern white pine, Norway spruce, or Serbian spruce. However, the Scotch pine is the most popular in Ohio thanks to its strong needle retention and firm branches.

#9. Minnesota

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 182,532
- Total farms: 321
- Total acres in production: 7,337
- Total sales: $5.8M

Minnesota Christmas tree farmers sell about half a million Christmas trees each year. The most popular tree varieties in the state are the balsam fir, Fraser fir, and Scotch pine. However, the Norway pine, white pine, and Colorado spruce are also common.

#8. New York

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 295,260
- Total farms: 1,187
- Total acres in production: 19,762
- Total sales: Data not available

It takes seven to 12 years to grow a healthy, 7-foot Christmas tree in New York. The most common long-needled tree in the state is the Scots pine, while the most common short-needled tree in New York is the Douglas fir.

#7. Virginia

Bill Abbott / Flickr

- Total trees cut: 474,902
- Total farms: 464
- Total acres in production: 11,151
- Total sales: Data not available

The white pine is the most widely planted Christmas tree variety in Virginia due to its adaptability and excellent needle retention. Despite its name, the Virginia pine is a relatively new species to the state and performs better in the Deep South.

#6. Washington

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 535,046
- Total farms: 670
- Total acres in production: 7,985
- Total sales: Data not available

Many rural landowners in southwest Washington benefit from farming Christmas trees, thanks to the long growing season and mild winters that contribute to the production of fir trees. Furthermore, Washington state's cool fall harvesting season and high humidity ensure the longevity of Christmas trees after they are cut.

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#5. Wisconsin

Pixabay

- Total trees cut: 700,341
- Total farms: 859
- Total acres in production: 23,373
- Total sales: $18.03M

2017's White House Christmas tree came from the state of Wisconsin, and it was grown by the owners of Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, Wisconsin, who won the 2017 National Christmas Tree Contest. In 2016, the winning Christmas tree also came from Wisconsin.

#4. Pennsylvania

Frank Miles // Wikimedia Ciommons

- Total trees cut: 1,050,159
- Total farms: 1,281
- Total acres in production: 30,793
- Total sales: $28.81M

Pennsylvania harvests more than 1 million Christmas trees each holiday season. If you combine all the acres the state devotes to growing Christmas trees, it would cover more than 49 square miles.

#3. Michigan

Ken Hammond // Wikimedia

- Total trees cut: 1,551,185
- Total farms: 1,233
- Total acres in production: 36,986
- Total sales: $28.73M

The most popular Christmas trees in Michigan are the Scotch pine, white pine, blue spruce, black hills spruce, balsam fir, concolor fir, Douglas fir, and Fraser fir. In 2017, Amazon began selling and delivering Michigan Christmas trees to families across the country.

#2. North Carolina

bobistraveling // Flickr

- Total trees cut: 4,031,864
- Total farms: 854
- Total acres in production: 38,893
- Total sales: $86.83M

The Fraser fir comprises about all Christmas tree varieties grown in North Carolina. The North Carolina Fraser fir is shipped annually to every state in the United States and the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and Japan. North Carolina is a Christmas tree-producing giant, growing more than 1 in 5 Christmas trees in the country.

#1. Oregon

Tedder // Wikimedia Commons

- Total trees cut: 4,714,298
- Total farms: 1,431
- Total acres in production: 45,283
- Total sales: $120.68M

Oregon's title as the state that produces the most Christmas trees isn't even a close race—it outpaces North Carolina (the #2 state) by more than 2 million trees. Ninety-two percent of Oregonian Christmas trees are shipped outside of the state, and in 2015, Christmas trees brought in $84.5 million of estimated revenue.

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