Christmas tree lighting at Annapolis MDA to support Maryland tree farms

Deer Creek Valley Tree Farm Owner Bob Muir and MDA's Karen Fedor with MDA's official 2014 Christmas Tree.

TreeTake the kids to the Christmas tree lighting at the Maryland Department of Agriculture headquarters in Annapolis Dec. 4 and consider buying a real Maryland tree this season.

Maryland Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance will kick off the State’s Christmas tree promotion with the tree lighting Thursday at 4:30 p.m. The 19-foot white pine was donated by Deer Creek Valley Tree Farm in Harford County, owned by Bob and Wilma Muir. This is the fourth year the Muirs have donated a Christmas tree to MDA for the promotion in partnership with the Maryland Christmas Tree Association.

Christmas trees are a fresh, fragrant crop, designed to be cut and eventually returned to the earth. The MDA promotion of Christmas trees continues the agency’s efforts to encourage residents to “buy local.” Buying a real Maryland Christmas tree not only supports Maryland farmers, but is also the overall best “green” choice for the environment and local economy.

While they’re growing, Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases and emit fresh oxygen, unlike artificial trees, which are typically made in China and are petroleum-based. After Christmas, trees can be recycled in a variety of ways, including being chipped into mulch that returns valuable nutrients to the soil. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture for Maryland, there are more than 170 Christmas tree growers in the state with nearly 2,200 acres in production.

MDA Headquarters are located at 50 Harry S Truman Parkway, Annapolis.

Click here to find a Christmas tree farm outside of Annapolis.

Photo: Deer Creek Valley Tree Farm Owner Bob Muir and MDA’s Karen Fedor with MDA’s official 2014 Christmas Tree.