Albany, NY - November 22, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today encouraged New Yorkers to buy local Christmas trees and support tree growers across the state this holiday season. Every year, the state assists hundreds of farms statewide, connecting them with new markets to support the $8 million Christmas Tree industry. This year, in celebration of the holidays, three Upstate trees were selected to be displayed at the New York State Capitol in Albany and in New York City.
“I encourage New Yorkers to support this state’s agriculture industry and purchase trees from local farms this holiday season,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is fourth in the nation for the number of Christmas tree farms and we look forward to further growing the industry this coming holiday season. When New Yorkers buy New York products from New York farms and businesses, everybody wins.”
Tree-Cutting and Holiday Promotion
To promote New York-grown trees, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today joined the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York in Ulster County for a tree-cutting to kick-off the holiday season. A seven-foot Balsam Fir was donated by Hurd’s Family Farm in Modena to be displayed for the holidays in the New York State Capitol.
In addition, the tree cutting event highlighted the Shawangunks Wine + Tree promotion, being offered at 17 participating businesses, to support both local Christmas tree farmers and New York craft beverage businesses.
Commissioner Ball also visited Adair Vineyards in New Paltz as part of the Shawangunks Wine + Tree promotion, which offers customers a free one-of-a-kind wooden ornament with the purchase of either a bottle of wine or tasting and a tree or wreath at participating businesses. The Shawangunks Wine + Trees promotion is supported by funding included in the 2016-17 State Budget. Learn more about the promotion here.
Connecting Upstate Agriculture to the New York City Marketplace
Through the State’s partnership with the Christmas Tree Farmers Association and GrowNYC, hundreds of farm-fresh, Upstate New York Christmas trees will again be sold at downstate Greenmarkets. Vendors are expected to sell approximately 1,500 trees and between 1,500 and 2,500 fresh wreaths during the next five weeks.
Both trees and wreaths are being sold at the following Greenmarkets: Union Square and Inwood in Manhattan, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Williamsburg and Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. Find more information on these participating locations here.
Upstate Trees on Display
In addition, the State has partnered with the Christmas Tree Farmers Association to bring two Christmas trees from the Finger Lakes to New York City for display during the holidays. Both trees were provided by Domes Tree Farm in Bliss, NY.
A 30-foot Blue Spruce will shine brightly at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building Plaza during an annual holiday celebration on Thursday, December 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will feature live family-friendly entertainment, including music, a visit from Santa, and free hot chocolate. At the Lincoln Center, a 30-foot Concolor Fir will be displayed and lit during the 17th Annual Winter’s Eve event on Monday, November 28, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York is one of the largest producers of locally-grown Christmas trees anywhere in the country and there is nothing quite like a fresh, locally-grown tree during the holidays. They look better, smell great and stay fresher longer. The Department is proud to support these growers as well as all of the incredible wineries participating in the Wine + Tree promotion.”
Additionally, this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was selected from a resident’s home in Oneonta. The Norway Spruce stands at 94-feet tall, is 56-feet in diameter and weighs more than 18 tons. The 95-year-old tree is the second largest Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York State history. It will be on display at Rockefeller Center until January 7.
With more than 300,000 New York-grown trees sold by 875 farms in Upstate New York, the state ranks fourth in the U.S. in the number of farms selling Christmas trees. The industry supports an economic impact of $8 million in New York State, according to the Christmas Tree Farmers Association.
To find the New York-grown Christmas tree vendor nearest to you, visit the Christmas Tree Farmers of New York website here.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Adding a New York-grown tree to your home during the holidays is an easy way to promote local farms while supporting jobs and generating revenue for our communities.”
New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said, “Upstate New York is full of farm products that customers in the downstate region would like to have more of for themselves and their families. From Christmas trees to maple syrup, fresh produce, and beyond, we are pleased to help support Governor Cuomo’s efforts to bring these upstate products to the downstate market. The Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York picked the perfect Blue Spruce from Domes Farm in Bliss to bring smiles to the faces of everyone who sees the beautiful tree outside the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in Harlem.”
Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York Executive Director Mary Jeanne Packer said, “New York’s real tree growers are delighted to have these opportunities to bring their trees to markets, and to showcase the quality and freshness of locally grown trees. The enthusiastic support that our promotional projects have received from our marketing partners including the Wine Trail and state agencies is greatly appreciated.”
Hurd’s Family Farm Owner Susan Hurd said, “The Hurd family is honored to have New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball harvest the symbolic first real Christmas tree of the season at our Hudson Valley family farm. We are delighted that one of our fresh, fragrant, farm-grown Balsam Firs will be on display this holiday season at the New York State Capitol in Albany. Wishing you all the blessings of the season.”
Marc Stopkie, owner of Adair Vineyards, said, “Adair Vineyards is honored to have New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball visit our winery, as he unites local Hudson Valley Farmers. We are pleased to be partners bringing the best of Hudson Valley wines and freshest trees to our neighbors during this festive time of year.”
GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen said, “When you buy your Christmas tree, holiday decorations, gifts and the ever important ingredients for your holiday meals at your local Greenmarket, you know that you are getting the freshest and best, as well as supporting local, family owned farms. We are extremely grateful to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ball for making access to New York State’s wonderful farm products a high priority.”