From left to right: MDAR Markets Director Mary Jordan, Clayton Mason, Bob Mason, Bill Mason, Elizabeth Mason, and Sophia Mason of MASON FARM, and MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux.

Friday, November 25, 2022, was proclaimed in Massachusetts as “Green Friday” to kick off the holiday season and bring awareness to the Commonwealth’s thriving winter agricultural industry.

In celebration and observance of this day, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux was joined by state officials and industry representatives to participate in a ceremonial Christmas tree cutting at Deer Run Tree Farm in the Town of Princeton and also visited Mason Farm in the Town of Rutland. The cut Christmas tree at Deer Run Tree Farm will be donated to the Princeton Senior Center.

“I encourage everyone across Massachusetts to celebrate the start of the holiday season by purchasing holiday trees and plants from their local farms and nurseries,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “There is no better way this season to support Massachusetts farmers than by purchasing a fresh-cut tree and festive plants to decorate for the holidays.”

Governor Charlie Baker issued a Green Friday proclamation.

“Supporting the Commonwealth’s agricultural sector is critical to our economy, and we encourage everyone to support the state’s Christmas tree growers and nurseries throughout Massachusetts, who provide a tremendous service by selling trees and plants to their customers to enjoy,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By shopping and buying local, our residents can feel good in knowing that they are positively impacting local and regional economies.”

The holiday season in Massachusetts provides hundreds of seasonal jobs at nearly 400 Christmas tree farms on approximately 2,500 acres of land from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. The sale of Massachusetts-grown Christmas trees contributes approximately $3.5 million to the Commonwealth’s economy each year.

“Buying your Christmas tree and holiday plants and decorations from a local grower and nursery is one of the most environmentally-friendly purchases you can make this season,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Recognizing today as Green Friday is a fantastic way to bring awareness to this specialty agricultural industry in Massachusetts that invests so much of their time and energy to providing us with local, high-quality products.”

“As part of the greater nursery industry, which is the largest agricultural sector in Massachusetts, Christmas tree farms play a vital role in environmental stewardship and stimulating local economies in the Commonwealth,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “In addition to trees, these farms and nurseries provide hand-crafted wreaths, holiday plants such as poinsettias, and craft activities for children to provide residents with a truly fun holiday destination experience. I’m proud to once again be a part of this wonderful tradition in highlighting the benefits of buying local and continuing to support Massachusetts agriculture.”

Christmas tree farms, which are often sited on soil that cannot support other crops, stabilize the soil, helping to prevent erosion and protect water supplies. When chipped, the trees can be used as a renewable source of energy to be burned as fuel, used as mulch, or composted. Moreover, these farms help to preserve open space across the Commonwealth, further reducing the state’s carbon footprint.

“Here in Central Massachusetts, we are blessed to be home to so many Christmas tree farms so it was a pleasure to join MDAR at two of our finest to recognize Green Friday,”said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “I hope everyone joins me in supporting our local growers by buying a fresh cut Christmas tree this holiday season.”

“I am delighted that Green Friday was celebrated in the First Worcester District this year,” said State Representative Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden). “Thank you to the Administration, Commissioner Lebeaux and everyone involved in this special initiative. Special thanks to Deer Run Tree Farm and Mason Farm for hosting this ceremonial event. Please join me in supporting local farms and agriculture during this holiday season and throughout the year.”

“We’re honored to host this year’s annual Green Friday Christmas Tree-cutting ceremony,” said Bob and Carol Peura, owners of Deer Run Tree Farm, which has been raising Christmas trees since 1978. “As a country farm that has been around since 1773, we offer a pleasant and friendly family experience for folks to ride our hay wagon, select and cut from a large selection of fresh, fragrant Christmas trees, and enjoy some hot apple cider. You’ll be sure to find a tree that fits both your home and family style creating lasting memories!”

“We’re pleased to welcome Commissioner Lebeaux to tour our Christmas tree and maple farm,” said Bill Mason, owner of Mason Tree Farm. “We try to create a fun family community experience by offering trees to bring home, as well as work with our neighbors at Still Four Corners restaurant who offer hot cider and food with local vendors at their Holiday Snack Shack.”

To find more information on Massachusetts Christmas tree farms, please visit MDAR’s MassGrown webpage.