The North Carolina Christmas Tree Industry

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November 24, 2008. Rural Virginia.. At the New River Tree Co. loading yard in Virginia, workers wait for the semi trucks to show up and be loaded with trees, most of which are heading to Florida. All the trees are grown in North Carolina, but the closest loading area is just over the border in Virginia.. New River Tree Co. has 30 full time employees and uses 60 H2A, the Federal guest worker program, workers during harvest season. Most of the guest workers are from Mexico and many return year after year to work on the same farm in North Carolina. The pay rate is federally mandated at $9/hr. and the workers are housed in government regulated housing facilities.. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, the farm will load 30 trucks a day, with 600 tree per truck.