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News Filed Under Forest Management

A row of Christmas trees stands at a Jackson, Mississippi, Christmas tree farm.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

RAYMOND, Miss. -- After two years of drought, Mississippi Christmas tree growers welcomed the extra rain in 2017.

“In a few low-lying areas, excessive rain in May and June waterlogged the soil and killed some trees, but this was not widespread,” said Stephen Dicke, a forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “We will always take more rain over less rain.”

Man examining a pine tree for evidence of beetles
September 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Trees, Forest Management, Forest Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi is having a breakout of tiny beetles that use pheromones to gather sufficient numbers of reinforcements to overwhelm healthy trees.

Current Mississippi Forestry Commission flyovers indicate nearly 5,000 separate Southern pine bark beetle outbreaks across the state. Outbreaks can range from just a few trees to more than an acre of infested and dying pines.

Outbreaks are especially bad on national forestland, but homeowners and private landowners are also experiencing the problem.

The tiny redbay ambrosia beetle was first found in the U.S. in 2002. It carries a fungus that is devastating to any tree or shrub species in the laurel family. (Photo by Mississippi Entomological Museum/Joe A. MacGown)
June 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Forestry, Forest Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It may have taken only one beetle and the fungus it carried to kill one-third of the nation’s redbay trees, according to scientists at Mississippi State University and the University of Florida.

Laurel wilt is a devastating disease of any tree or shrub species in the laurel family. The redbay ambrosia beetle, introduced from Asia into Georgia in 2002, carries the deadly fungus.

April 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Forest Economics, Forest Management, Timber Harvest

RAYMOND, Miss. -- New landowners can learn about managing timberland for profit during a five-part short course in May.

Forestland as an Investment will be offered May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 at the Mississippi State University Extension Service office in Forrest County. It starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. each night. The Extension office is located at 952 Sullivan Drive in Hattiesburg.

Recent drought conditions have not kept Swedenburg’s Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus, Mississippi, from having a solid production year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
November 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

SAUCIER, Miss. -- Larry Haley has no problem selling his Christmas trees each November.

In fact, he has to set a limit on how many he can spare and stop once he reaches that number to maintain a steady inventory. His target this year is about 300 choose-and-cut trees before Thanksgiving.

"A couple of years ago, I got in trouble because I sold too many in one season and almost depleted the next year's stock," he said. "Last year, we started holding fields back for a season so that doesn’t happen again."

Expect to pay anywhere from $7 to $10 per foot for a choose-and-cut Christmas tree this year. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
November 13, 2015 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

SAUCIER, Miss. -- Christmas tree growers in Mississippi expect a 7 percent increase in sales this year, but unfavorable spring and fall weather may hurt future supplies.

Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said growers successfully controlled insect and disease problems this year. However, a wet spring followed by a dry summer and early fall caused some growers to lose up to half of their 1-year-old trees.

Ben Carr of Ackerman, left, helps his brother Pete, cousin Max Hudson of Louisville and sister Carrie move their grandfather's Christmas tree to the edge of his yard for wildlife cover on Jan. 7, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
January 9, 2015 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- According to the National Christmas Tree Association, American consumers purchase nearly 30 million real trees annually from one of more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms. Real-tree enthusiasts cite three main reasons for their yearly choice: tradition, fresh pine scent and appearance.

Selecting a real tree is also an environmentally friendly choice. Real Christmas trees are 100 percent biodegradable and can be recycled in a variety of ways.

The National Christmas Tree Association offers these little-known facts about real trees:

Christmas tree producer Don Kazery Jr., left, discusses agricultural practices on his Hinds County farm with Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, on Nov. 6, 2014. Harsh weather conditions in 2014 and several years of high demand reduced the number of trees available in heavily populated counties. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Susan Collins-Smith)
November 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

RAYMOND -- Consumers who want Mississippi-grown Christmas trees to deck their halls should shop early for the best selection every year.

“Choose-and-cut Christmas tree production in Mississippi is fairly flat because there are growers each year who retire,” said Stephen Dicke, a forestry professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Growers still in the business are producing more trees each year, but demand in heavily populated counties is much higher than the supply of trees.”

Mississippi Christmas tree growers offer high-quality, beautiful trees for holiday decorating. These Leyland cypress trees are growing at Thomley's Tree Farm in Hattiesburg. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
December 9, 2013 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Lawn and Garden

I hope everyone has Christmas traditions that their family looks forward to each year. One of the traditions I enjoyed growing up in the Great White North was going to get the Christmas tree.

Sometimes we went to one of tree lots that sprang up on corners like cold-weather weeds. Other times we drove out to the country and picked a tree to cut. It was like going hunting and bringing back the bounty. I grew up bringing home Fraser fir, balsam fir or Colorado blue spruce.

Christmas tree farmer Bob Shearer, of Purvis, uses a shearing machine to trim trees on his farm. Producers anticipate a 7 percent increase in Christmas tree sales this year. (Submitted photo)
November 8, 2013 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Thanks to impressive live Christmas tree sales last year, customers seeking the best Christmas trees may need to buy early this year.

November 2, 2012 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Christmas tree growers were thinking about the holidays when Hurricane Isaac made landfall Aug. 28, knowing the winds and rains would bring additional work before trees would be ready for the 2012 harvest.

Stephen Dicke, Extension forestry professor at Mississippi State University’s Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, said storm damage should not dampen sales of Mississippi’s Christmas trees.

Choosing and cutting live Christmas trees, like the ones at Lazy Acres Plantation in Chunky, can provide families with holiday memories. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 15, 2011 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Environment

By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Each year, many Mississippians must decide whether to buy a live or an artificial tree to celebrate the Christmas season.

John Kushla, Mississippi State University Extension forestry specialist at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, said artificial trees are usually less expensive than real trees and can last for many seasons, but real Christmas trees provide benefits that artificial trees do not offer.

It takes four years to grow Mississippi Christmas trees to the popular 6 to 8 feet tall size. About 900 trees can be grown per acre, such as these growing in Chunky on the Lazy Acres Plantation. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 28, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Freshness is the key to quality Christmas trees, and with choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms scattered across the state, all Mississippians can get a great tree every year.

John Kushla, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, said locally grown trees can look great for weeks when they are put in water immediately.

Mississippi growers will have a good crop of trees to sell this holiday season. Most choose-and-cut farms will open on Thanksgiving Day, and the rest will be open by the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
October 29, 2010 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

VERONA -- With less than a month to go, Mississippi’s Christmas tree growers are counting down the days to what may shape up as a great year.

The trees mature enough for sale have good color and have filled out nicely, despite periods of dry weather statewide and too much rain in some areas of the state.  Most species of Christmas trees grown in Mississippi take five years to mature, which makes one-fifth of a grower’s crop marketable each year if new seedlings are planted after the holiday season.

Decorated Christmas tree with gifts under it.
December 10, 2009 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees, Family

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Consumers of a decade ago had few disposal options for real Christmas trees, but today they can be recycled into other natural products.

Trees at the Swedenburg Christmas Tree Farm in Columbus appear to be in good shape for the 2009 holiday season. Many Mississippi growers expect sales to increase because of travel cutbacks and plans to stay home. (Photo by Kat Lawrence)
November 6, 2009 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Christmas tree growers will probably see their sales increase again this year as more people stay home to celebrate the holidays.

Current economic problems have forced many people to tighten their budgets, resulting in less travel. Families who stay home still want a festive celebration, and natural Christmas trees offer a traditional touch.

November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A Christmas tree adds joy and life to a home during the holidays, but thoughts of tree cleanup and disposal can dampen enthusiasm for a real one.

Consumers who do a little investigative work into recycling options can avoid these problems. Although Mississippi does not have a statewide recycling program for leftover trees, some communities do.

Mississippi Christmas tree grower Michael May examines a 4-year-old Leyland Cypress on his farm, Lazy Acres Plantation in Chunky. (Photo by Patti Drapala)
November 20, 2008 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

By Patti Drapala
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The 2008 Christmas tree crop in Mississippi is shaping up to be a good one as growers finish their spraying, shaking and shearing in time for holiday shoppers.

“Christmas tree farming is labor intensive,” said Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “Because the trees are a high-value crop, the standard in producing them also is high.”

November 1, 2007 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's Christmas tree producers should see a $1.6 million holiday season, but there is room in the market for other growers to join the party.

Steve Dicke, forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the state is expected to produce 49,500 choose-and-cut Christmas trees this year. This number is slightly down from last year, and significantly down from pre-Hurricane Katrina years.

December 19, 2006 - Filed Under: Christmas Trees

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Careful Mississippians know that the usefulness of a Christmas tree does not have to end with the holidays as the tree can serve other purposes after the decorations come down.

The National Christmas Tree Association calls Christmas tree recycling treecycling and states online that more than 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America.

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