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Statistical Highlights: USDA Reports That Sale of Fresh Seasonal Holiday Decorations Remains Strong


WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2005 - This holiday season millions of homes across the United States will be decked with the seasonal delights of fresh cut Christmas trees and vibrantly colored poinsettias. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that the purchase of these items during the holiday season remains a strong tradition, with the production and sales of both cut Christmas trees and potted poinsettias remaining steady in recent years.

According to the Nursery Crops Summary, 10.3 million cut Christmas trees were sold in 2003, up from 9.6 million in 2000. In 2004, the Floriculture Crops Summary revealed the sale of potted poinsettias remained strong at 61 million, a slight decrease from the 2003 sale of 61.5 million.

"The nursery and floriculture industries are multi-billion dollar industries in the United States ," said R. Ronald Bosecker, NASS administrator. "While the holiday season always draws special attention to the products and commodities they produce, these industries are active and productive throughout the entire year." In 2003, the sale of cut Christmas trees accounted for $183 million, only 5 percent of the total $3.97 billion in nursery sales.

Whether your home is filled with the scent of a fresh cut douglas fir, fraser fir, scotch pine, white pine or other variety of cut Christmas tree, there is a four out of five chance your tree sprouted from Oregon , North Carolina or Michigan . In 2003, these three states alone accounted for the sale of more than 84 percent of cut Christmas trees. Oregon led the nation with 4.7 million cut Christmas trees sold, North Carolina was second with 2.1 million and Michigan was third with 1.9 million.

Blooming indoors from warm greenhouse temperatures, poinsettias, another common holiday decoration, are grown throughout the United States . More than 30 percent of the 61 million poinsettias sold last year blossomed from three states: California with 7.5 million, North Carolina with 5.8 million and New York with 5.3 million potted poinsettias grown and sold.



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