Pennsylvania Christmas Trees

My research involves studying root disease in true firs (Abies spp.). It rhymes better when I say root disease in Christmas trees. And the cut Christmas tree industry is the primary beneficiary of my research. Right now I am assembling and analyzing economic data and production data to allow me to cite some trends and conditions in the Pennsylvania cut Christmas tree market. This has led me to survey and census data. (Did you know there is a Christmas tree census?)

One of the primary sources I’ve been using is the 2009 Census of Horticultural Specialties (Volume 3-Special Studies-Part 3, AC-07-SS-3). Here are a couple of statements I want to include in the journal article I am currently editing, and I need to be able to support them with numbers. Thanks to the census I just mentioned, I have data to work with.

Fraser fir is a common cut Christmas tree crop in Pennsylvania. The census includes data regarding the number of trees in production by state by species, allowing me to chart the most common tree species in PA.

Figure 1. Cut Christmas tree species in production at the start of 2010 in Pennsylvania.

According to these data Fraser fir is the second most common cut Christmas tree in production.

Fraser fir is a premium cut Christmas tree crop. Once again the census helps me out.

Figure 2. Value of cut Christmas tree species on a per tree basis in Pennsylvania.

Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is not a true fir despite its name. Figure 1 showed that it is more common than Fraser fir, but Figure 2 shows that it is not worth as much on a per tree basis.

The writing continues.

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