Christmas Tree Research: A Growing Investment
The science behind growing and caring for Christmas trees is constantly evolving. The Christmas Tree Promotion Board is dedicated to funding scientifically sound, unbiased research that will have far reaching impacts on the industry. Over $730,000 has been invested in a slate of research projects designed to produce high quality Christmas trees, manage ever increasing production costs, and minimize environmental impact. Listed below are projects that are complete, and ongoing, being funded by Christmas Tree Promotion Board Checkoff funds from 2016 to 2020. Additional projects have been approved for funding by the Christmas Tree Promotion Board for 2019-2020 and will be listed on our website once agreements are in place.
- The Cooperative Fir Germplasm Evaluation (CoFirGE) project is designed to identify regionally adapted sources of Turkish and Trojan firs that produce excellent Christmas trees, and to obtain a better understanding of how site and environmental conditions are affecting the growth and postharvest quality of Turkish and Trojan firs.
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Washington State University, Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University $72,000
- Understanding the Impact of Elongate Hemlock Scale on Select Tree Species Native to Florida
North Carolina State University $29,750
University of Florida $5,470
- Survey of Slug Species and Development of IPM Strategies for Management of Slugs on Christmas Trees
Oregon State University $65,000
Washington State University $15,000
- Cultural Options for Managing Cone Formation on Fraser Fir
Michigan State University $67,331
- Fraser Fir Cone Control Research
North Carolina State University $15,903
- Developing Strategies for Leader Control in Nordmann and Turkish Fir
Oregon State University, Michigan State University $12,200
- Spray Drones to Apply Agricultural Materials to Christmas Trees
North Carolina State University $39,600
- Post-Entry Elimination of Megastigmus Seed Larvae in Imported Conifer Seed
Washington State University, Oregon State University $27,575
- Enhanced Establishment and Growth of Bareroot Transplants Using Controlled-Release Fertilizers
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station $1,000
- Management Options for Herbicide Resistant Weeds in Christmas Tree Production
North Carolina State University $41,629
- Effectiveness of Preharvest Application of 1-MCP in Reducing Needle Loss on Cut Christmas Trees
Washington State University $32,519
- Evaluation of Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana) Seed Sources for U.S. Christmas Tree Production
Oregon State University, Washington State University, Pennsylvania State University $76,839
- Twig Weevil- A small poorly understood pest inflicting havoc in the PNW export markets
Washington State University, Oregon State University $95,331
- Susceptibility of Trojan fir to Phytophthora Root Rot
Washington State University $26,040
- Exploring Sustainable Management for Armored Scales in Christmas Tree Plantations
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station $36,528
- Investigating Soil Acidification Mechanisms for Inhibiting Phytophthora
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station $22,000
- Regional Variation in Needle Loss from Trees in CoFirGE Planting Sites
Washington State University, Oregon State University, Pennsylvania State University, North Carolina State University, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Michigan State University $15,033
- Surveying for Oregonian Slugs in Hawaii with the Goal of Removing their Quarantine Status
Oregon State University $9,976
- Spotted Lanternfly: A New Exotic Pest Threatening the Mid-Atlantic Christmas Tree Industry
Pennsylvania State University $4,598
- Breeding to produce the next generation of Virginia Pine for Texas/Oklahoma Markets
Texas A & M Forest Service $7,061
- Incorporation of Soil Amendments for Managing Phytophthora Root Rot in Fraser Fir in North Carolina
North Carolina State University $14,264
In addition to the projects listed above and those awaiting final agreements, the CTPB funded just over $26,000 of consumer research in 201516. Additional consumer research has been funded through the promotion budget. The CTPB also has established a research reserve that currently has approximately $66,000 available.
Request for Proposals
The CTPB annual request for Christmas tree research grant proposals is announced each May. However, emergency project funding may be available at any time if an unexpected need arises in your area.
The purpose of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board Competitive Research Grant Program is to establish and conduct research with respect to the image, desirability, use, marketability, quality, product development or production of Christmas trees; to the end that the marketing and use of Christmas trees may be encouraged, expanded, improved, or made more acceptable and to advance the image, desirability, or quality of Christmas trees.
Research means any type of test, systematic study, investigation, analysis and/or evaluation designed to advance the image, desirability, use, marketability, quality, product development, or production of Christmas trees, including but not limited to research related to cost of production, market development, testing the effectiveness of market development and promotional efforts, new species of Christmas trees and environmental issues relating to the Christmas tree industry.
Priorities set for the last grant cycle funding included but are not exclusive to:
- Genetic Improvement – All species, all growing regions
- Environmental Benefit of Real Trees – Carbon, Green space, Sustainability
- Insect/Pest Management – scale, aphid, slug, mite, chalcid, wildlife, roundup resistant weeds,
- Improved technology – labor reduction, safety, cost benefit, quality of end product (baling materials, baler pulling devices, shaking, tree display stands, cut tree water use, Christmas tree allergies)
- Disease Management/Resistance – Phytophthora, Passalora,
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