Given that much of northern Michigan is sparsely populated you'd not be surprised to learn that there are many more trees than people. But in one Michigan county, you might say it's not so much sparsely populated as sprucely populated.

Missaukee County the home of Lake City and McBain and near Cadillac is the nation's 5th largest producer of Christmas trees. Missaukee County produces over a half-million trees each year.

The data was compiled by u/jscarto and shared on reddit. The top 5 counties across America for tree production outside of Michigan are in the Pacific Northwest and North Carolina. In fact, adding Michigan, Oregon and North Carolina, those three states account of 2/3 of the nation's trees at Christmastime.

Christmas Tree Production Map
u/jscarto via Reddit

Somewhat unexpectedly looking at the Christmas tree production map, Michigan's tree industry is heavily based in the northwestern Lower Peninsula and is virtually non-existent in the Upper Peninsula.

Elsewhere in the Lower Peninsula, Wexford, Oceana, Montcalm and Allegan appear to be leading tree-growing counties.

Christmas Trees Are Big Business in Michigan

Annually, the Christmas tree industry in Michigan is a $60 million dollar enterprise with a vast number of trees being exported to other states. There are an estimated 780 Christmas tree farms and a dedicated 42,000 acres of land dedicated solely to Christmas trees.

Christmas Tree Farming
Photo by Julianna Arjes on Unsplash

The seat of Missaukee County, Lake City, bills itself as the "Christmas Tree Capital of the World" with the area's Chamber of Commerce logo prominently displaying trees.

Incidentally, Lake City also has the opposite end of the calendar covered as the city hosts the "Greatest Fourth in the North" celebration each Independence Day.

Family Christmas Tree Cutting
Photo by Chris Briggs on Unsplash

LOOK: What Christmas was like the year you were born

To see how Christmas has changed over the last century, Stacker explored how popular traditions, like food and decorations, emerged and evolved from 1920 to 2021 in the U.S. and around the world. 

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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