As the shortage of artificial Christmas trees continues this year, people across the United States are depending on North Carolina farmers for some holiday cheer.

The state is one of the top five producers of live Christmas trees in the nation, according to a report from In 2017, North Carolina ranked second, harvesting 3.7 million trees across almost 36,000 acres. That’s about 28 percent of all trees produced in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Almost all the trees grown in North Carolina are Fraser firs, a kind of evergreen that is plentiful in the Blue Ridge and Brushy mountains. The NC Fraser fir was the tree of choice for the White House a record 13 times, according to the report. It’s been named the best Christmas tree species by the National Christmas Tree Association. 

Three North Carolina counties also top the list for Christmas tree production, with Ashe County taking the top spot. The county is home to more than 50 tree farms and harvests almost a sixth of trees nationwide. Avery and Alleghany counties also made the list. Three years ago, Larry Smith of Newland grew the 19-foot tree displayed in the White House. 

Oregon, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are the other states responsible for the most Christmas tree production nationwide. But when it comes to tree quality, the first recommendation will always be a North Carolina Fraser fir. 

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