Genetic Improvement of Christmas Trees

Welcome. The Genetic Improvement of Christmas Tree web site will assimilate and organize genetic improvement resources relating to Christmas trees from across the United States providing a forum for researchers, extension professionals, and growers to share information.

Research Team

Rick Bates PSU Bert Cregg MSU Rick Dungey NCTA Lilian Matallana NCSU Gary Chastagner WSU Ross Whetten NCSU John Frampton NCSU Jeff Joireman WSU
Photo 1 : Ricky Bates
Rick Bates is an Associate Professor of Horticulture at Penn State University,
working on Canaan fir needle retention and Douglas-fir disease resistance.
Bert Cregg is an Extension Specialist and Associate Professor of Horticulture
and Forestry at Michigan State University.
Rick Dungey is the Public Relations Manager for the National Christmas Tree Association
and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation.
Lilian Matallana is a Postdoctor at North Carolina State University
working on plant molecular physiology.
Gary Chastagner is a Professor of Plant Pathology, Washington State University
Ross Whetten is a researcher at North Carolina State University, working to
understand the genetic basis of trait variation in forest trees
Dr. John Frampton, Professor and leader of the Christmas Tree Genetics project,
North Carolina State University
Dr. Jeff Joireman, Associate Professor of Marketing, Washington State University


This site is part of a project funded by the USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative in 2012 titled Development and use of Genomic Tools to improve Firs for Use as Christmas Trees. The project is using next-generation DNA sequencing technology to accelerate the improvement of firs as Christmas trees, an important specialty crop for which American consumers spend over $1 billion annually. Initially, two traits are targeted for improvement: 1) post-harvest needle retention and resistance to Phytophthora root rot. Improving the first trait will address a major concern of many real Christmas tree consumers, messiness. Improving the second trait will lessen the impact of a major disease problem that reduces productivity and increases costs for Christmas tree growers in all fir-producing regions of the country. [ read more ]


Consortium Partners

Penn State University   National Christmas Tree Assoc.   NC State University
Michigan State University   Washington State University   UC Davis University of California

Video Journal (via YouTube)

Video of Phytophthora_Root_Rot_in_Christmas_Trees

Phytophthora Root Rot in Christmas Trees

Video of Christmas Tree Species: Fraser Fir

Christmas Tree Species: Fraser Fir

Video of Christmas Tree Species: Korean Fir

Christmas Tree Species: Korean Fir

Video of Christmas Tree Species: Canaan Fir

Christmas Tree Species: Canaan Fir

Video of Christmas Tree Species: Concolor Fir

Christmas Tree Species: Concolor Fir

Video of Christmas Tree Species: Nordmann Fir

Christmas Tree Species: Nordmann Fir