North Carolina State University Researchers Aim To Create ‘Perfect’ Christmas Trees
So, what makes ‘perfect’ Christmas trees? The North Carolina State University Christmas Tree Genetics Program spent decades working toward genetically engineered Christmas trees. And, their hope is the end result is an “elite” Fraser fir. The Fraser fir is native to North Carolina. And, it’s more than likely the tree you picture in your mind as the ‘perfect’ Christmas tree.
Well, in the ’90s The NC State Christmas Tree Genetics Program went to work evaluating and testing multitudes of the Fraser firs to find the absolute best characteristics, genetically speaking. Then, from the ones deemed the ‘best’ they propagated and planted in 2018. Their website explains that the “seed orchard” has more than 1000 trees. And, they started producing seed bearing cones.
Next, the cones they collect go on to be studied and eventually seeds distributed to growers between 2026 and 2028. And, the hope is this results in the perfect Christmas tree. In other words, the idea of the “symmetrical, conical shape” and point we imagine as customers. And, if all goes as planned they look great, grow faster and won’t lose needles at the higher rate they usually do in your home. Researches expect the needle retention to be just under 100 percent.
And, while this all sounds fascinating and positive for the consumer there’s something to be said for the perfectly imperfect Christmas tree. After all, it’s the imperfections in nature that make it more charming than factory engineered copies. We have an artificial tree simply for convenience and allergies.
However, I love the look of a real Christmas tree. And, I can spot a natural tree a mile away because it’s not perfect. But, I do admit the needle retention of the genetically engineered ‘perfect’ Christmas trees is a draw. I hear plenty of complaints from real tree enthusiasts about the mess of the falling needles. But, see the whole story from NC State’s website. And, decide for yourself!