2004 County: Watauga

2004 Agricultural Tourism & Crop Diversification Program

Jim Bryan
Christmas Tree Farm

Nathaniel Maram
Rhododendron & Azaleas


Frank Payne
Christmas Tree Farm

Brent Cochran
& Susan Wright
Fresh Cut Flowers

In order to sustain agricultural production on small, family-owned farms, many area producers are incorporating Christmas tree production (Fraser fir) into their operations.

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms are playing an increasingly important role in Watauga County’s agricultural economic development and have become an important part of Watauga County’s tourism economy. Falling between ‘leaf season’ and ski season, the growing popularity of choose-and-cut farms over the last few years has carried the county’s winter tourist industry.

The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce estimates that these associated inputs from the choose-and-cut industry could total around 3 million dollars. In the last couple of years, choose-and-cut growers in the county have worked together to address the need for a collaborative marketing effort among themselves and other area businesses.

Currently, there are 21 choose-and-cut farms in Watauga County who are members of the Watauga County Nurserymen’s Association. In 2003, around 12,000 Christmas trees were sold from local farms and many area choose-and-cut farmers report that their tree sales have grown over the past few years.

Contact the Local Extension Agent