Assemblyman Magee: Shop Local for Your Christmas Tree this Holiday Season

November 14, 2017

Christmas tree shopping with loved ones has long been a cherished holiday tradition and, thankfully, New Yorkers donít have to go very far to take part. Weíre lucky to live in a state thatís one of the nationís top producers of Christmas trees. In addition to trees, most farms sell Christmas wreaths, garlands and ornaments and provide a fun-filled experience for the whole family. I encourage you to make a New York tree farm your go-to for a beautiful tree or festive decorations. Locally grown trees smell wonderful and can add a touch of freshness to any home, community center or business. Artificial trees, on the other hand, often end up in landfills. Buying a real tree is better for our communities and our environment since they can be recycled and are biodegradable. Not only are our local farmers producing beautiful trees, but theyíre also helping provide us with fresh, clean air. One acre of Christmas trees removes over 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.1 Additionally, tree farms help stabilize soil, protect water supplies, provide refuge for wildlife and preserve green spaces.2 Christmas tree farming is a thriving industry, generating $8 million in revenue each year.3 New York ranks fourth in the nation for the number of tree farms and features 14 varieties of trees to choose from.4 Itís important that we support the growth of this industry to ensure that our small and family-owned farms can thrive and create more jobs right here in our local communities. Farmers are finding new ways to add new activities and boost tourism throughout the state. Iím working to help them branch out and thrive. I fought for a state budget that supports the Christmas Tree Farmersí Association of New York. Further, I sponsored and helped pass legislation that was signed into law this year to limit the cost of liability insurance for agricultural tourism businesses (Ch. 338 of 2017) to help ease the financial burden on small-scale farmers that offer Christmas tree shopping and other farm activities. I wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season, and I hope youíll join me in shopping local for a Christmas tree this and every year. As always, my door is open. If you have questions about this or any other community issue, please contact me at 315-361-4125 or at _________________________________