Influence of weather on the harvesting of high elevation christmas trees
OVER FOUR MILLION FAMILIES in California enjoy fresh evergreen trees in their homes every Christmas. Few people realize what efforts have gone into producing a tree that will maintain a vigorous, healthy appearance over the long Christmas holidays. Thousands of acres of trees are thinned, pruned, sheared and fertilized before harvest. Approximately a million of these trees are thinned annually from the high elevation forests of California. Large timber companies and other forest landowners have given long-term management and harvesting leases to Christmas tree operators to insure an annual income from their forest lands. Many forest landowners also manage and harvest trees from their lands on a sustained yield basis. The success of the Christmas tree industry and its $20 million payroll depends on the high quality of properly harvested trees. The date a Christmas tree operator selects to start harvesting, plays an important role in determining freshness.