Iowa Christmas tree growers are participating in a program called "Trees for Troops." State horticulturist, Mike Bevins, says the growers donate some of the trees they’ve grown on farms across Iowa. He says it’s a program through the National Christmas Tree Growers, and it’s the third year Iowans have taken part.
This year 30 growers donated around 100 trees, while nationally the program collects some 17,000 trees. Some of the trees stay in the country, while others will go overseas. Bevins says the trees bring a piece of home to soldiers who are serving our country.
Bevins says FedEx picks up the trees and ships them all over the country. Bevins says the trees are an alternative crop for many Iowans. Bevins says there are over 100 "choose and cut" tree farms across the state, with 2,500 acres of trees and around 60,000 trees sold every year. Bevins says the trees are also good for the environment as they produce oxygen, prevent soil erosion, filter water, and provide wildlife habitat.