New Jersey is home to hundreds of small farms that grow Christmas trees. Most are small family-run business operations. Together, these farms cover 4,600 acres that produce 69,000 Christmas trees every year. Overall, this small but important industry generates about $3.5 million annual revenue each December. Most of these farms invite families to come out and cut their own tree; providing a meaningful holiday experience for many of us. We have one of these cut-your-own farms, Airport Tree Plantation right here in our Cumberland County hometown of Millville.
As a supporter of small businesses and a member of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, I am grateful that the New Jersey Department of Agriculture supports the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association. This is a sustainable and renewable industry that plays an important part in our Christmas holiday season tradition. At a higher level, we understand that small local agricultural businesses like these that fill a market niche play an important part in the economic and environmental sustainability of our communities.
Finally, after the Christmas season is over, many nonprofits including our local Baysave.org collect the trees as unconditional materials to help collect organic substrate for living shoreline stabilization projects. The branches and needles of the trees act as a skeleton to help to provide stability to sand, soil and other organic materials that eventually grow plan roots and sustain new life.