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Researchers in the USA produce an “elite Christmas tree” |  the world

Researchers in the USA produce an “elite Christmas tree” | the world

In 1999, they began to grow the first “perfect” Christmas trees. But it's not ready to be cut, sold and decorated yet.

-You have to think of Christmas trees like people. Justin Whitehill, who leads the Christmas Tree Project, told the Washington Post that these trees live for 80 to 100 years or more.

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– It takes 8 to 10 years on average to grow to a height so it can be harvested. It takes decades before they have offspring. They do not produce cones until they are between 20 and 25 years old.

Best Christmas tree

The project began in the 1990s. Then researchers at North Carolina State University began taking a closer look at the Fraser fir species, which originates from the southeastern United States and is described — with its conical shape, strong branches and ability to retain a rod — as “the cream.” Among the Christmas trees.

Researchers examined 30,000 wild trees, selected the best 25 and then used grafting to create “perfect” new trees, Justin Whitehill tells The Washington Post.

In 1999, the first generation of “elite trees” was planted. In the fall of 2026, the cones should be harvested, and the following spring the first true seeds can be planted. It will then take a few years of growth before this new Christmas sensation reaches consumers – at the earliest in 2036.

It will help farmers

According to the researchers, the Christmas tree project has two purposes:

To convince people who prefer plastic trees to go back to the “real deal”, and help Christmas tree growers.

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– We use genetics to improve the characteristics of Christmas trees and make life easier for both consumers and farmers. The focus is on three main characteristics: growth, shape and maintenance of the strip. But we're also working towards sustainability and making trees more climate resilient, says Justin Whitehill Washington Post.

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