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2017-12-06 / South Texas Living

Yes, Virginia, there are Texas Christmas trees!

By Pat Kopecki
Wilson County News


Tradition continues ... Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott greets the carriages at the South entrance to the Capitol Nov. 27, as Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association President Marianna Wilson and her husband, Jim, deliver live, fresh-cut Christmas trees to decorate the Capitol. 
TEXAS CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS ASSN. Tradition continues ... Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott greets the carriages at the South entrance to the Capitol Nov. 27, as Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association President Marianna Wilson and her husband, Jim, deliver live, fresh-cut Christmas trees to decorate the Capitol. TEXAS CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS ASSN. No shortage in Texas! That’s the message from Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association Executive Director Joe McCullough, as reports of a national Christmas tree shortage make the rounds. There are plenty of fresh, Texas-grown Christmas trees to select from this year to decorate for the holidays. And area residents don’t have far to go to find one.

Seiler’s Christmas Tree Farm, located on Jakes Colony Road at the Wilson and Guadalupe county line, has plenty of trees to choose from.

Russell and Dorothy Seiler began planting trees in 1980, and started to sell to the public in 1983. Today, Russell’s son, Jeffery Seiler, and his wife, Tracie, are the owners, offering families the opportunity to continue the tradition of selecting that “perfect” family Christmas tree.


A 24-foot Virginia pine from the Elves Christmas Tree Farm in Denison, featuring ornaments from every Texas State Senate district, is this year’s Texas Senate Christmas Tree. The Texasgrown trees decorating the Capitol were delivered the Monday after Thanksgiving. 
TEXAS LT. GOV. A 24-foot Virginia pine from the Elves Christmas Tree Farm in Denison, featuring ornaments from every Texas State Senate district, is this year’s Texas Senate Christmas Tree. The Texasgrown trees decorating the Capitol were delivered the Monday after Thanksgiving. TEXAS LT. GOV. Most of their business comes from repeat customers, visiting from as far afield as the Valley region and the Houston area.

McCullough did say there is one shortage — of Texas homes to showcase the trees’ beauty. He said this is because many coastal homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey have not been rebuilt.

He reported that in late August, the Category 4 storm left Beaumont Christmas tree farms standing in 10 feet of water. East Texas farmers received no damage to trees, though some outbuildings and barns were damaged.

The national Christmas tree shortage, McCullough said, is due to economics and not Mother Nature. Years ago, farmers — located in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and the northeastern United States — which supply many big-box stores (retail), did not plant trees. This has left some areas with an insufficient supply of fresh-cut trees.

McCullough said in Texas it takes approximately

3 to 5 years for a seedling to mature into a 6-foot-tall tree, and seven years for a 10-foot tree. Some full-time farmers plant 10,000 seedlings annually, and rotate yearly to have trees available every year.

The Texas Christmas Tree Growers recommend that for every tree cut, one to three seedlings are planted to replace it.

Nationwide, McCullough said more than 25 million trees have been sold already this season.

Christmas tree farming has been around for more than 50 years in Texas, with approximately 84 farms in the state supplying Virginia pine, Leyland cypress, loblolly pine, Blue Ice cypress, and more.

For other local Christmas tree growers in the area, visit texaschristmastrees.com.

Did you know?

The Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association delivers live, fresh-cut Christmas trees to the State Capitol, a tradition since 1998.

Trees are sent to grace both the Senate and House, and the governor’s office and mansion.

How to keep Christmas trees fresh

You found that perfect tree; now it’s time to keep it fresh. Trees need water, just like a fresh bouquet of flowers. Tips include:

•“Cut 1-2 inches off the bottom of trunk before mounting in stand.

•Immediately place tree in a water-holding stand.

•Add fresh water daily as needed.

•If storing the tree outside before decorating, keep it in water and protect the tree from the wind and sun.

•Keep tree away from fireplaces and other heat sources.

•Turn off all tree decorations before retiring at night and any time you leave your home.”

Source: Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association.

Seiler’s Christmas Tree Farm

Customers select and cut their own trees at Seiler’s Christmas Tree Farm. The Seilers will help if assistance is needed, and bag (by netting) for transport.

For more information, call 830-401-4590, 830- 379-3468, or seilerschristmastrees.com. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends, and weekdays from 4-6 p.m.

pkopecki@wcn-online.com

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