Freshcut trees could use a little jingle

first_imgDairy farmers have “Got Milk?”Ranchers have “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”What about Christmas tree farmers? “I don’t know what our slogan will be,” said Bruce Wiseman, a local Christmas tree grower. But Wiseman is hoping a national marketing program, similar to those for other commodities such as beef and milk, will soon turn its attention to the fresh-cut Christmas tree industry. “Some promotional program should be up and running by next Christmas,” he said, adding that there have been some delays. A 15-cent assessment on every Christmas tree sold in the U.S. would help pay for the program, a move solidified in February when President Barack Obama signed the farm bill into law. In Washington, the Christmas tree industry brings in about $42 million annually, putting the state fourth in the nation for Christmas tree production. The state’s Douglas, noble and grand firs are shipped across the country and overseas. Washington has 637 Christmas tree farms; and Clark County is among the state’s most prolific Christmas tree producers. But the industry could use a boost from the national program, Wiseman said. If the advertising executives need any background as they craft their message, the 68-year-old tree farmer, who owns The Tree Wisemans in Ridgefield, has them covered. “Christmas trees are a sustainable product, environmentally friendly, they provide jobs and support the U.S. economy,” he said. Harder timesThe fresh-cut Christmas tree industry has taken some hits in the past couple of years. There’s ongoing competition from the artificial tree market. A labor dispute at West Coast ports slowed transport of many growers’ trees this season. And more recently, the Washington State Department of Agriculture detected an invasive population of the European gypsy moth northeast of Yacolt.last_img read more