Date of Award
Master of Science
Cecil E. Carter Jr
Robert S. Dotson, John Sharp
The major purpose of this study was to describe Christmas tree producers in Upper East Tennessee and their farm operations. It was believed that the information would help Extension Agents in Carter, Johnson, and Unicoi Counties to do a better job of planning programs to meet the interests and needs of the Christmas tree clientele. Thirty Christmas tree producers were interviewed. The survey instrument was developed by the researcher with the help of the graduate committee. Data obtained were selected characteristics of Christmas tree producers and their farm operations.
Data were coded and punched on computer cards and computations were made by the University of Tennessee Computing Center. The analysis of variance F test and Chi-square test were used to deter mine the strength of relationships between variables. F values and x2 values which achieved the .05 probability level were accepted as significant.
Major findings included the following:
1. Only four producers were operating on Christmas tree farms which a family member had previously established. Eighty-three percent of the producers were under the age of 50 with 40% between the ages of 30 and 40 years.
2. Eleven producers surveyed were members of a state Christmas tree growers' association and five were members of the National Christmas Tree Growers' Association. Producers who were members of a state Christmas tree association had grown trees an average of 10.3 years while the non-members had grown trees an average of 3.2 years. The producers who were members of the National Christmas Tree Association had grown trees an average of 13.2 years.
3. The largest number of Christmas trees in production was Frazer fir with 19 producers growing this species. The second largest number of trees in production was White pine with 23 producers growing this species.
4. Producer employment off the farm was significantly related to the average number of years producers had grown Christmas trees. Six producers not employed off the farm grew Christmas trees an average of 13 years, while 24 producers employed off the farm had grown Christmas trees an average of 4 years.
5. Producer employment off the farm was significantly related to the number of Extension Christmas tree meetings attended. Six producers employed on the farm attended 3 Extension Christmas tree meetings while 24 producers employed off the farm attended an average of 1.5 meetings.
6. Most Christmas tree producers had made contact with the Extension Service. Twenty-one producers attended 1 to 3 Extension Christmas tree meetings during the past 12 months. Seventeen producers did visit the Extension office 1 to 3 times, 17 producers telephoned the Extension office 1 to 4 times, and 16 producers received 1 to 3 farm visits from Extension agents. Three producers visited the Extension office 4 to 5 times. Nine producers telephoned the Extension office 5 to 12 times and 5 producers received 4 to 7 visits from Extension agents.
7. Producers having friends growing Christmas trees did significantly influence the number of Extension Christmas tree meetings attended. Those 7 producers not having close friends growing Christmas trees attended an average of 0.7 Extension Christmas tree meetings, while the 23 producers with close friends growing Christmas trees attended an average of 2.1 Extension Christmas tree meetings.
Hart, William Keith, "Characteristics of East Tennessee Christmas tree producers and their farm operations. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1982.