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Here's what your Christmas tree selection means for the Texas economy

Headlines for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2023
Headlines for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2023 01:15

COLLEGE STATION (CBS News Texas) – Are you team pre-lit or real Christmas tree?

In the U.S., the sale of real Christmas trees has decreased since 2018. Since 2020, the sale of artificial trees has been higher than real trees.

"It's a tradition in many households to have a real Christmas tree," said Dr. Aaron Stottlemyer, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Analytics Department Head. "The process of going as a family to pick out a tree is a fun activity that supports rural economies across the state."

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, last year alone, the Texas Christmas tree industry had a direct economic impact of $397 million, employing 3,896 people with a payroll of more than $97 million.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the Texas Christmas tree industry is expected to be ranked second in the southern U.S. based on the average annual employment and wages.

Stottlemyer says the Christmas tree industry is crucial to supporting the trees' lifecycle, expanding trees' potential beyond their natural life and creating sustainable forests and economies. 

"Christmas tree farms are essentially young forests," said Stottlemyer. "They are able to provide us the same benefits as traditional forests by sequestering carbon, providing a natural habitat for wildlife, cleaning our water and providing recreational opportunities."

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