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NC State Extension

2020 Virtual Christmas Tree Farm Tour

Welcome to the Christmas Tree Virtual Farm Tour! We were disappointed that the NC Christmas Tree Association had to cancel their summer meeting in Jackson County. They had planned a wonderful tour which included updates on extension and research projects. The goal of this virtual farm tour is to provide you with the information that would have been shared at that time. Be sure to keep checking back here in the future for updates.

Tour of Jackson County Farms

Katie Ashley, the new Jackson and Swain County Agricultural Extension Agent, visits with 3 choose and cut farms in Jackson County. In addition, she met with Charles Fowler who reported on a demonstration converting a Christmas tree farm to forestland or pasture. Timestamps for specific sections of this video are listed below and hot links are available on the Jackson County Farm Tour video on YouTube:

  • Tom Waller Choose & Cut (0:20)
  • Jerry McAbee Choose & Cut (4:24)
  • Charles Fowler demonstration at John Brown farm (10:40)
  • Scott Pressley Choose & Cut (13:25)

Jeff Owen Research Demonstrations

Fraser Fir Cone Study

Jeff Owen discusses successful 2020 research results to control cones in Christmas trees. Special thanks to Brad Edwards for the video footage.

Chemical Leader Control Study

Jeff Owen reports on two years of terminal control studies using Valent BioSciences’ synthetic abcissic acid treatment.

White Clover Herbicide Study

Results from the study at Carlton Fowler’s on the effects of either FirstRate or Harmony on white clover will be coming soon.

Robert Jetton and Dominic Manz Elongate Hemlock Scale Research

Dr. Robert Jetton and his graduate student, Dominic Manz, discuss their new research project with elongate hemlock scale. Jill Sidebottom then showcases three of the fields that were intensively scouted for scale in July as part of their project.

Jill Sidebottom Scale Control Demonstrations

Long-term Scale Control Studies – Second Year

In 2019, Jill Sidebottom started several long-term elongate hemlock scale demonstrations for twig aphid and elongate hemlock scale control using Sivanto and Safari. The Sivanto should be easier on the parasitic wasps that help control scale and Safari by itself has given good control of scales. Due to travel restrictions from COVID-19, the demonstration was only continued on the three best farms this year. In this video, twig aphid and scale control at these sites is discussed, along with general comments on spring twig aphid control this year.

Insecticide Trial for Scale Control

This summer, Jerry Moody and Jill Sidebottom evaluated several insecticides for elongate hemlock scale control including Safari with and without LI-700, Distance, Aria, TriStar, Ventigra, and Mainspring. In the video, results one month after treatment are reported.

What’s New on the Christmas Tree Portal

There have been several updates to the NC State University Christmas Tree Portal in 2020. Take a quick video tour to see what resources are now available.

Thank You!

We wanted to give special thanks to the organizers of the 2020 Jackson County Farm Tour and leadership of the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association. While the meeting never happened due to COVID-19 restrictions, many people put a lot of effort into developing plans and working on projects related to this meeting. We’d also like to thank the cooperators involved in Jackson County including Charles Fowler, John Brown, Tom Waller, Jerry McAbee, Scott Pressley, and Carlton Fowler. We’d also like to thank other farmers who were involved in research and Extension projects across the region this year including Ronnie Beam at Cartner Christmas Trees, Mitchell Poe, Ken Guyton at Sexton Farms, Sherrie Severt, Gary Edwards, Matthew Cuthbertson, Matthew Horney at G&S Tree Farms, Robert Reece, James Bell at Critcher Farms, and Smokey Holler Tree Farm. None of this would have been possible without the help of County Extension personnel including Katie Ashley, Rob Hawk, Jerry Moody, Brad Edwards, Travis Birdsell, Paige Patterson, and Christy Bredenkamp.

Recommendations for the use of chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. Individuals who use chemicals are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. For assistance, contact an agent of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in your county.