See the newsletter with all graphics at COMMON GROUND VOLUME 1 : ISSUE 12 NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE LINK.  Text only version provided below, links only work in the full archived version via the link above.

Volume I : Issue 12

December 2012

Welcome to Common Ground News

Wishing you Happy Holidays!

In this issue:

* Feature Article – Christmas Tree Farms: An Industry to Celebrate!

* Tips & Techniques – helping you get the most out of our online mapping
application at [1]GeoMetrx “How to Remove ZIP Codes from a Territory”

* Thematic Map – Charitable Contributions

* Trivia Challenge​​ – Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Trivia

This and all our newsletters are available through our Knowledge Center resource
listed on our website. We encourage you to share our Common Ground News with
your friends and colleagues and we welcome your feedback. Visit our website and
make a comment on the [2]contact us page or send us an email at

—-Kent Hargesheimer,

Managing Partner

Christmas Tree Farms: An Industry to Celebrate

Even before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all
year had special meaning in many cultures, particularly during winter. Evergreen
boughs were often hung over doors and windows in celebration of the winter
solstice. Christmas trees can trace their roots to these ancient traditions,
with the earliest written records dating back to the 1500s. In 1510 there is
reference to a tree in the market place in Riga, Latvia decorated with roses
representing the Virgin Mary. The members of the Merchant Guild danced around
the tree and then set it afire. By the 17th century trees in Germany were
decorated with apples to commemorate Adam and Eve Day celebrated on December
24th on the early Christian calendar. Soon after, edible ornaments and lighted
candles became popular tree decorations in parts of Europe. By the 1800s,
Christmas trees were introduced in the United States, and not surprisingly they
quickly morphed from small tabletop decorations to large floor-to-ceiling
displays; our innovative bigger, better, faster spirit has been alive and well
in America from the get-go!

In 1851, the first Christmas trees were sold commercially in the U.S. and the
manufacture and sale of commercial ornaments and other decorations soon
followed. The first trees sold were selected randomly from local forests;
however, by the early 1900s overharvesting was a serious problem, and the
evergreen population was becoming decimated. The first Christmas Tree Farm in
the U.S. was established in 1901 in New Jersey. Teddy Roosevelt, the great
outdoorsman and naturalist that he was, tried to put an end to the Christmas
tree tradition in an effort to preserve the forests. His two sons persuaded him
that if managed properly, Christmas tree farming would not be harmful to the
environment, and in fact, would support wildlife and ecosystems, which they do
to this day.

According to the [20]USDA 2007 Census of Agriculture (conducted every 5 years),
there are more than 13 thousand tree farms in the U.S. representing nearly every
state and providing an estimated 100,000 jobs. In 2007, these farms harvested
nearly 17.5 million trees. The top 5 states are shown in the table below:

The following maps visually depict Christmas Tree Farms across the U.S.



It is estimated that approximately 350 million Christmas trees are growing
across the country at this moment. The time it takes for a Christmas tree to
mature and reach its ideal height of 6-7 feet ranges from 4 to 15 years
depending on location and variety. The average growing time is 7 years. For each
tree harvested annually, one to three seedlings are replanted the following

The [23]National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), representing the Christmas
tree industry, conducts an annual consumer poll and estimates 30.8 million trees
were sold in 2011, from more than 15,000 farms. The market value of the trees
was $1.07 billion, with the mean average of dollars spent resting at $34.87.
The vast majority of those trees were pre-cut (84%), and the remainder were
harvested at ‘cut-your-own’ establishments (16%). In comparison to real trees,
artificial trees accounted for 9.5 million purchases in 2011, with consumers
spending $670 million. The average artificial tree lasts for 5 to 7 years before
being sent to a landfill, where it could last for hundreds of years, whereas
real trees are biodegradable and completely recyclable.

The most common Christmas Tree species are: Balsam Fir, Douglas-Fir, Fraser Fir,
Noble Fir, Scotch Pine, Virginia Pine and White Pine. There are more than 4,000
Christmas tree recycling programs for real trees in the U.S., and 93% of
consumers participate in these programs each year. Some reuses of the trees

• Mulch from chipped branches
• Path and trail cover from shredded trees
• Sand and soil erosion barriers around lakes, rivers and deltas
• Refuge and feeding areas for fish when sunk in private fish ponds
• Living (replanted) trees when purchased with a containerized root ball

Entrepreneurial opportunities in the Christmas Tree industry are abundant from
growers to sellers to recyclers. Our [24]GeoMetrx online mapping appliation is
the perfect business tool allowing you to visualize the market landscape,
measure your competitors and carve out your niche.

Tips & Techniques –

Removing ZIPs from a Territory

Creating territories in [25]GeoMetrx is one of the most valuable assets of our
online application. Once territories are created there are many ways to
customize them to meet your exact needs. ZIP Codes can be helpful for some
companies and ‘clutter’ for others. Additionally, when realigning territories it
may become necessary to remove certain ZIP Codes. It’s easy to do, just follow
the simple steps in our:

[26]”How to Remove ZIP Codes from a Territory Guide”


Charitable Contributions Map


America is a generous country. In 2011, $298B was donated to charities by
individuals, corporations and foundations. With 65% of households giving
annually, individuals accounted for the lion’s share of donations at $217.8B.
Additional information on charitable contributions can be found by visiting the
[28]National Philanthropic Trust website.

At [29]GeoMetrx, we have variety of charitable contribution datasets including
overall giving as reflected in the map below. Other charitable contribution
datasets include:

• Arts/Culture/Humanities
• Education
• Environmental
• Health
• Political Organizations
• Private Foundations
​• Public Radio
• Public Television
• Religious
​• Social Services/Welfare
• Other


Click here to see a [31]larger version of this map.

For more information on how to obtain access to [32]GeoMetrx datasets, contact
us today at 1.888.848.4436.

❀ ❀ ❀

December 2012 – Trivia Challenge

1) When did the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

tradition begin?

2) In 2007 the tree has been lit with HOW MANY

energy-effiecient LED’s powered by solar panels?

[33]Click here for the answers!