Governor Phil Scott and Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts visited the Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury Nov. 29 to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with the help of Vermont’s farmers. The trees cut during this visit will decorate the Pavilion Building in Montpelier, which houses the governor’s office.
“As we enter the holiday season, Vermont and its people, including our farmers, offer so many reasons to celebrate,” said Gov. Phil Scott. “This is a time of year to take note of the good and unite around the true meaning behind each of the season’s traditions: togetherness, community and hope.”
According to the 2017 USDA Census, there are 3,650 acres in Christmas tree production in Vermont across 70 farms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the value of the Christmas tree industry in Vermont is more than $2.6 million.
“Getting a fresh local tree brings us joy and happiness this time of year while also helping our Christmas tree growers by keeping the Green Mountains in agriculture,” said Ag. Secretary Anson Tebbetts. “The toughest part is the endless choices we have at Vermont’s ‘cut and choose’ operations in every corner of the state.”
Vermont holiday trees also decorate homes in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia each year, with thousands of Green Mountain trees sold in urban pop-up markets. In addition, visitors to Vermont participate in our holiday tradition by hauling home freshly cut trees.
The Werner Tree Farm began farming Christmas trees near Middlebury in 1986. Generations of the Werner family welcome the public to cut or pick their own tree, as do other cut-your-own tree farms across Vermont. Like the Werner family, Vermont’s many tree farmers take pride in the wide variety of natural trees and other working lands products available this time of year.
“It’s a special time of year for our family,” said Cheryl Werner of Werner Tree Farm. “We love spreading joy and happiness at our Christmas Tree Farm. We are excited to have the governor join us to kick off the season.”
For a full listing of Christmas tree growers open to the public visit the Vermont and New Hampshire Christmas Tree Association at nh-vtchristmastree.org.