Fraser Fir Integrated Pest Management

Located in the picturesque mountains of western North Carolina, we live and work in an environmentally sensitive area. As a result, we strive to be good stewards of the land as we practice the technique of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Our focus is centered on reducing our usage of pesticides and fertilizers. We accomplish this by cultivating supportive ground covers, monitoring natural pest populations, and checking soil fertility.

As a result we…

  • Grow a better tree while protecting our natural resources.
  • Minimize our use of pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Support a greater biodiversity within our fields.
  • Stabilize our topsoil and eliminate erosion.
  • Protect our water quality.
  • Make possible sustainable production for generations to come.

By sowing clover seed and cultivating the native stands of clover in our fields, we eliminate erosion, reduce the soil temperature, increase soil moisture and add beneficial nitrogen to our soils.

Through the process of scouting, we monitor our pest populations. Pesticide applications are avoided until a certain threshold of insect pressure is reached.

Finally, through the use of soil and tissue sampling, we regularly check our soil fertility. In doing so, we know exactly what our soils contain and what they lack, allowing us to pinpoint fertilizer applications, reducing our overall inputs.

We take great pride in the beauty and productivity of our farm and strive each day to make it a little better for the next generation.

“I’ve been working with Christmas tree IPM in western North Carolina for more than 20 years. As Extension Specialist with North Carolina State University, I’ve given a lot of talks, taught a lot of folks to scout, written articles and fact sheets, conducted demonstrations, surveyed growers, done field surveys of pests, predators, stream insects below tree farms and even rodents in tree fields — all the things you’re supposed to do to learn better ways of controlling pests and helping growers do a better job.

These twenty years have seen a lot of changes in the Christmas tree industry. I’m probably prejudiced, but I think our North Carolina growers do better than anyone in the country with IPM in Christmas trees. They are leaving more ground covers around their trees, have reduced pesticide use tremendously through the years, and really try to grow a good tree in a manner that’s safe for the environment and safe for their workers.”

Jill Sidebottom
Extension Specialist
North Carolina State University