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Promoting local Christmas tree farms, governor declares today ‘Green Friday’

WIll Papke, 11, drags a cut tree at Houde's Christmas Tree Farm in Marlborough, Mass.The Boston Globe/File/Globe Freelance

Massachusetts residents were still finishing Thanksgiving leftovers Friday, but state leaders were already turning their attention to Christmas trees.

Governor Charlie Baker declared Friday to be "Green Friday" in recognition of the Christmas tree season and the benefits it has for the state's economy and environment. And to celebrate the day, local officials joined the Department of Agricultural Resources for the annual tree-cutting ceremony at Coward Farms in Southwick.

"By declaring the day after Thanksgiving as Green Friday, we recognize the contributions of Massachusetts Christmas tree growers to our economy, agricultural industry. and holiday season," Baker said in a statement. "I encourage everyone to support our Christmas tree growers this holiday season by purchasing a Massachusetts-grown tree."


Friday's ceremony was intended to spotlight the work of nearly 400 Christmas tree farms that grow trees on about 3,000 acres of land from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, according to a statement from the Department of Agricultural Resources.

Each year, $1.4 million is added to the state's economy from the sale of Massachusetts Christmas trees. The Christmas tree season also adds hundreds of seasonal jobs.

Additionally, Christmas trees farms help the environment, with one acre of 8- to 12-year-old trees removing nearly 500 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and adding about 1,000 pounds of oxygen, the department said.

"We are honored to recognize Massachusetts Christmas tree growers who work hard to grow and care for trees that are ecologically beneficial to our environment," department commissioner John Lebeaux said in the statement. "Our tree growers are committed to caring for the land, preserving open space, and implementing best management practices."

A 2012 agriculture census organized by the US Department of Agriculture tallied 52,188 Christmas trees harvested across the state. And Julia Grimaldi, a program coordinator with the state's department, said she expects the number will probably stay about the same this year.


Felicia Gans can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.