MONROE, La. (AP) -- Dr. Don Reed, LSU AgCenter forestry and wildlife specialist, says everything looks good for the Christmas tree crop in Louisiana.

Reed, who also is a Christmas tree grower, and Dora Ann Hatch, an LSU AgCenter community rural development agent, recently met with 70 Christmas tree farmers from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama at the annual meeting of the Southern Christmas Tree Association in Pitkin.

Hatch told The News-Star people are motivated to buy real trees because of tradition, memories and "going green." She said when consumers go green they recycle the trees for sand and soil erosion barriers and for fish shelters in ponds.

Reed said artificial trees, on the other hand, are petroleum-based products that consume vast resources during fabrication and are not biodegradable.

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Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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