Live Christmas trees on decline

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

By Myra Bean

As people have gotten busier, more allergies abound and the Christmas season has spread, the use of live Christmas trees has dwindled while artificial trees have increased. This year the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce is promoting the return to the use of live Christmas trees.

Before many people used artificial trees, many made use of trees grown on their or the neighbor’s property and Christmas tree farms. Panola County does not have a working Christmas tree farm any longer. The only retail live Christmas trees locally found are at Lowe’s, who has sold most of its big trees early.

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Lowe’s employee Angela Henderson said more trees are expected. They range from $44 to $110. Other retailers in the county said they will no longer live trees. Kroger and Wal Mart may have a few live trees closer to Christmas.

As the holidays approach, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce encourages those celebrating the holidays to make this Christmas “real” by purchasing a live Mississippi Christmas tree.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce has made it easy for shoppers to find the perfect Mississippi Christmas tree this holiday season through its website The website, part of the Genuine MS state branding program, provides a guide to the types of Christmas trees grown in the state and the locations of Mississippi Christmas tree farms where locally-grown trees can be purchased.

The closest tree farm to Panola County is Cedar Hills in Nesbit.

“As families are preparing for the holidays, I want to encourage them to visit one of Mississippi’s 26 Christmas tree farms. Selecting a Genuine MS Christmas tree means you are not only supporting our farmers but also the local economy as well,” said Gipson. “Consumers can also find an array of other Mississippi products for the holidays from gift ideas to ingredients for special holiday meals on our website”

For those who have never owned a live Christmas tree or need tips for caring for a live tree, details how to select the best Christmas tree for your family, how to safely care for a Christmas tree, and how to dispose of your Christmas tree after the holidays.