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Troops to get donated Christmas trees

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FLEETWOOD, NC (AP) -- Military personnel and their families are getting early holiday gifts courtesy of North Carolina's Christmas tree growers.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association say more than 1,100 trees will be delivered to Marines at Camp Lejeune and soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas.

Troxler will be at Cline Church Nursery in Fleetwood on Monday, the day trees will be picked up for delivery to the Marines. Trees for Fort Hood will be shipped from Linville River Nursery Wednesday.

North Carolina is the nation's second-largest producer of real Christmas trees, with $100 million in sales in 2009. The state has about 1,500 Christmas tree growers.

The harvest this year could top 5 million trees.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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