WRAL Doc “The Perfect Tree” Looks At NC’s Christmas Industry
“The Fraser fir has just grown so much in popularity over the last 20 years that it’s all we can do to supply enough of them and keep up with that growth.”
-Ron Hudler, Owner of Hudler Carolina Tree Farm in West Jefferson, NC
North Carolina is first in the nation in Christmas tree sales and second in the nation in total harvest. It’s become a huge industry in our state over just a few decades. There are about 1600 farmers growing about 50 million trees on 31,000 acres. The industry raked in $134 million in 2006.
The Fraser fir accounts for about 95% of those sales and is the main reason for the success of the Christmas tree industry in our state. The Fraser fir is native to North Carolina and is what most Americans consider “the perfect tree”.
“The Perfect Tree” takes viewers inside North Carolina’s Christmas industry, from massive, commercial, wholesale operations to small choose and cut farms. It looks at how researchers and agricultural extension agents have worked to help tree farmers grow the perfect tree. It looks at the environmental impact of tree farms and the move to organic farming.
The documentary profiles growers and their farms and follows trees from the fields to the homes of North Carolinians. One of those trips follows a Fraser fir from a field in Ashe County to the Blue Room of the White House. The program also examines what different people see in “the perfect tree”.
“The Perfect Tree” is hosted by WRAL News anchor Bill Leslie. The documentary aired on WRAL-TV on Saturday, Dec 15th at 7pm, and is now available for viewing online at WRAL.com.
“Trash Talk” is the latest episode in the WRAL documentary series called Focal Point. These in-depth news documentaries focus on a single topic, bringing depth and clarity to complicated issues facing North Carolina. From North Carolina’s economy and environment, to health care and race relations – Focal Point takes viewers inside the lives of the people most affected. Focal Point tackles the tough questions with leaders and policymakers who have the power to effect change. WRAL News anchors, including David Crabtree, Pam Saulsby, Bill Leslie, Gerald Owens and Debra Morgan, host the series. Six to eight new episodes of Focal Point will be produced each year.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clay Johnson for this capcom story.