From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Continuing a long-standing tradition of kicking-off the holiday season in the Florida Capitol, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam presented Florida-grown Carolina Sapphire Christmas trees to Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today. Floridians harvest approximately 16,000 Florida-grown Christmas trees from the state’s more than 100 Christmas tree farms each year to decorate their homes and businesses during the holiday season.
The Ergle Christmas Tree Farm, located in Dade City, Fla., provided the four Carolina Sapphire Christmas trees to be displayed on the Plaza Level of the Capitol through the month of December. Ergle Christmas Tree Farm is a family farm, owned and operated by Tony and Debbie Harris. Debbie’s father, Omar, planted the first trees 34 years ago and opened gates to the public four years later. The farm produces Carolina Sapphire, Florida Cedar, Florida Sand Pine and Leyland Cypress.
At the ceremony, Governor Scott lit the Christmas tree in the reception area of the Executive Office of the Governor. First Lady Ann Scott hung the first ornament on the tree, the 2016 Governor’s Mansion Christmas ornament. The Governor and First Lady, along with the members of the Cabinet, thanked the Ergle Christmas Tree Farm for making this year’s Christmas tree presentation possible.
To find a Christmas tree farm in Florida, visit the Florida Christmas Tree Association website, flchristmastrees.com/Farms.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.