By Staff Writer | November 25, 2015
Christmas tree transport is a serious business in Oregon, where Holiday Tree Farms lift enough timber to put Santa’s workshop to shame. Since the early 1980s, the farm has contracted with regional helicopter operators from California, Washington and Montana to airlift trees from its more than 8,500 acres of land in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Those trees are then shipped throughout the U.S. According to Greg Rondeau, a sales manager for the farm, the economic and environmental benefits of helicopters more than make up for their high operating costs. “One helicopter can lift up to 10,000 trees per day,” further reducing the delay between cutting and transport, said Rondeau. Additionally, airlifting trees over the valley allows the farm to build fewer roads and reduce the strain ground transportation causes on existing roads. "Without the helicopters, we would have to cut a week earlier and employ at least 50 more people," said Rondeau.