Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Most Northwest Christmas Trees Take A Short Flight Before Landing In Your Living Room

If you buy a Christmas tree, part of its journey to your living room may involve a helicopter.

John Schudel’s farm grows and ships over a million Christmas trees each winter out of Corvallis, Oregon. The crews don’t even stop for Thanksgiving.

This time of year, Schudel has about five helicopters on his farm at once. The pilots move large bundles of trees from the fields to loading areas.

“Just the sheer volume of trees that we do, that we harvest every year, we couldn’t physically possibly get the trees out in time by the old conventional method that we used to do back in the old days, which was tractors and wagons,” Schudel explained.

The trees are loaded into large shipping containers. Some of them go as far as Japan, Peru and even Afghanistan.

Washington and Oregon harvest more fresh Christmas trees than any other region in the U.S.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.