December 2008 Edition

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1 GEORGIA CHRISTMAS TREE ASSOCIATION, INC. TREE TALK December 2008 Edition _ Checking out the venders table at Fall Meeting Published by the Georgia Christmas Tree Association, 401 Oxford Circle, Concord, GA Volume 21, No. 4, December 2008

2 Table of Content Advertiser Index 2 Notes form Executive Director 4 Growers trimming their holiday trees 5 Fighting Fire With Facts 7 Coloring Christmas Trees Before Harvest 10 Insurance for your standing trees 14 Tax Planning Season 16 Does Your Farm Need Liability Insurance? 18 Minutes for Board of Directors Meeting 20 Minutes for General Meeting 22 Finance Reports 23 Association Members, 11/28/08 25 Membership application form 32 Advertiser Index 7G s Farm 6 Bass Trees and Supply 9 Byron Lakewood Nursery 21 Cinco Plastics 15 Evans Christmas Products 7 Kelco Industries 9 Kathy Holston s Sandy Paws Nursery Back cover & 17 Murray s Southern Christmas Tree Nursery 12 Oak Pond Nursery 20 Veldsma & Sons 14 Wagoner s Fraser Knoll 10 2

3 Association Officers Listing PRESIDENT Tommy Thompson Prospect Rd Lawrenceville, GA thompsonstreefarm_gagcat.com PRESIDENT-ELECT (Vacant) 1ST VICE-PRESIDENT Chuck Berry McCord St. Covington, GA berryplace_yahoo.com PAST PRESIDENT Dewayne Herrin Bacon St. Jessup, GA herrinsnest_bellsouth.net EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Coy Dillahunty Oxford Circle Concord, GA dillahuc_bellsouth.net SECRETARY TREASURER Linda Wilson 120 Cordele Rd Hawkinsville GA ocpchristmasdtreefarm.gagcta.com NATIONAL DIRECTOR Gordon Hunter Wood Rd Milton, GA gordonhunter_bellsouth.net NORTHERN DIRECTORS Vacant Andy Kinsey Jot-em-down Rd Gainesville, GA kinseyfamilyfarm.com CENTRAL DIRECTORS Earl Worthington P O Box 255 Lovejoy, GA georgiachristmastrees.com John Smith Davis Rd. Fayetteville, GA SOUTHERN DIRECTORS Both positions Vacant Webmaster: Jim Butler, jim_christmastreehome.com 3850 Hwy 81 West, Hampton, GA TREE TALK EDITOR Natalie Cooper, 40 Spring St Buford, GA (404) Denise Thompson and Coy Dillahunty assisting. ADVERTISING RATES Full Page $ /2 Page /3 Page /4 Page Rates given are for black & white ad copy. Spot color is an additional $10. Full color ads are available at twice the base cost. Contracts on four or more consecutive ads are discounted 10%. New ad submission deadlines are the 1st of the month preceding the issue. We offer free ad copy design assistance. PUBLISHED QUARTERLY March, June, September, December Georgia Christmas Tree Association, Inc. 401 Oxford Circle Concord, GA Established

4 Notes form Executive Director The past couple of months have been interesting for me. First I missed the Fall meeting because of shoulder problems. Had the surgery on October 13. About a month later I am able to type with two hands. Try using a computer that is not set up for one hand operation with one. I still have some pain, mostly at night and after therapy sessions. I am beginning work on the December issue here in late November. That don t sound good for getting things together on time but will try. We have a new editor for Tree Talk (Natalie Cooper, Tommy and Denise Thompson s daughter.) and I hope to have her doing the layout and all by next issue. Denise Thompson is assisting Natalie and me with advertising sales. All of us are new in some areas of this operation and you can expect a learning curve. Beginning with this issue all advertising billing will be handled by Executive Director along with printing and mailing. Some of this may change as we work together more. Natalie has just got the old info from Liza Smith and this has held us up a little. Started to do Page 3 of this edition with the new officers listed correctly. Looks like things didn t go well at the meeting. I got no new officers names to replace the ones who s term ended. This gives us a bunch of vacant positions that need to be filled. The Directors can be filled by someone agreeing to serve. Same goes with President Elect. We can formally elect all at the Spring meeting. I will try to get a bylaws change to allow one meeting per year ready to publish in March issue of tree talk. We can then change as required at the Spring meeting. There was a problem finding the finance reports I sent to the Fall meeting. Things are a little more settled now and you can note the meetings this year gave the Association a profit of $ This shows that we can put on two good meetings without breaking the bank. There is a copy of the current finance report in back of this magazine. Also to be included in this magazine is a membership list. We have had several new members join this year, I believe some because the dues was lowered for new members. I have received more calls for information about Christmas trees this year than any year in memory. Either they have all found me or more are interested. Of course the media is interested in how the recession is affecting the Christmas tree sales. My answer is we will know about Christmas. We have a good supply of good quality trees and hope we have customers. It is always a game to listen to their ways of trying to get a negative answer. I am sure some will quote me with something like sales are expected to be down. Another of their favorite questions is how many trees are grown in Georgia. Would be nice to have this information but members and non members don t seem to think it is anyones business but theirs. I no longer ask. Then there is the request today, Where can I find potted trees less than one foot tall at a good price? She wanted to make up gift baskets. Coy 4

5 Growers trimming their holiday trees By: Tom Faure This article is reprinted with permission from the Saturday, August 2, 2008 edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. We offer our apologies for not getting the photos that were included with this article reproduced. Even though the Christmas season seems ages away, that doesn t mean Alvin Kittle can rest until December. Retired after 40 years at U.S. Pipe and Foundry, Mr. Kittle supplements his pension with thousands of evergreens he grows at Kittle Christmas Tree Farm in Ringgold, Ga. Christmas isn t for another 145 days, so most people probably aren t thinking about their trees. In the 95-degree heat, though, tree farmers already are trimming for the holidays. If you don t keep them trimmed, they won t fill out right, Mr. Kittle said. The trimming starts as early as May, he said, with a second touch-up usually around August. Without trimming or shearing, the tree doesn t take its festive cone shape. Along with ensuring his 9,000 or so trees fill out, Mr. Kittle must trim the bottom 12 inches of limbs for easy carrying, for setting up in a base and to give space for the presents, he said. Anna Savage and her husband Richard, both retired teachers, run the 10-acre Thousand Pines Christmas Tree Farm on Thomas Twin Oaks Road in Baxter, Tenn. These days, the Savages grandchildren are helping them keep the trees clean, mowing the fields and shearing the trees. You work on Christmas trees from January until December, Mrs. Savage said. It gets us out instead of staying in the rocking chair. Part of a billion-dollar-per-year industry, 28.6 million real Christmas trees were sold in the United States in 2006, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. In Tennessee, association Assistant Director Becky Rasmussen said the market is dominated by choose-and-harvest farms farms like the Savages and the Kittles rather than major retailers of pre-cut trees. Christmas tree farms are not exactly a dime a dozen in the Chattanooga area, but there are a number in North Georgia and in the McMinnville, Tenn., area, although Ms. Savage said she has some Chattanoogan customers. Hamilton County tree farmers said Chattanoogans can look to North Georgia or North Carolina for Christmas trees. 5

6 For tree farmers to get that oh-so-important cone shape, it s all about shearing until you reach a symmetry on all sides, and that the ideal tree is cut so the tree s base is twothirds as wide as its height, according to a report from Michigan State University s forestry extension program. If you shear at the right time of year by July 15 for Ms. Savage the tree grows less spindly. The Savages use a two-foot-long shearing knife, walking around the tree and aiming for consistency year-to-year. It takes about two minutes per tree, and if you have 10 acres of trees it ll take almost a month to get them all sheared, she said. Finally, growers spray the trees to get rid of bugs that Mr. Kittle said will otherwise go dormant, then wake up and stretch their legs in the warmth of somebody s home. To cut costs and limit the damage to the environment, he said, his pesticide is a home-brewed mix of Listerine and dishwashing soap. By the Friday after Thanksgiving, Ms. Savage said, the customers arrive, looking for just the right tree. Despite a gloomy economic forecast, the growers are optimistic about sales this year. Customers look for a dark-green tree, on average about 6 or 7 feet tall, the growers said. Mr. Kittle said he sells about 700 trees per year for $35 each, and Ms. Savage said the family farm can sell as many as 800 trees for $40 each, thanks to a loyal customer base. Fuel and fertilizer costs are rising, but the tree farm still is profitable, she said. Mr. Kittle grows eight varieties of trees, including many of the cypress variety, which are reliable growers. All kinds of cypress do well here, he said. They just take to the weather real good. White pine is a Tennessee native that becomes really full, and it is Thousand Pines Farm s most popular tree, Ms. Savage said. Leyland Cypress Trees Available Now for Fall Planting!!! "!!!!! 5967-#3-:-$.&-$&; 7 G!s Farm 2331 Old Kings Bridge Rd Nicholson, GA (706) We offer special pricing for GCTA Member 6

7 Fighting Fire With Facts Courtesy of the National Christmas Tree Association How many times have you turned on your local news during the holiday season to see them "demonstrating" the dangers of a Real Tree by setting one on fire? It's a story that's been told over and over agin--and in doing so, has become engrained in consumers' minds. In fact, 38% of consumers polled said that fire and safety concerns were the reason that they did display a Real Tree during the 2006 Christmas season, according to the Harris Interactive annual consumer poll. NCTA, led by the the Strategic Protection Committee, works year-round to protect the Real Tree Industry from false claims and misinformation regarding fire safety. But it's just as important that every Christmas Tree grower and retailed has the necessary information and statistics to respond to questions and concerns from the media, from consumers and from fire officials in their local communities. Here is an overview of the holiday safety issue, as well as what's being done by NCTA. If you have questions of need additional information, contact NCTA at (636)

8 Holiday Safety Facts It has been proven time and again that a well-cared for Real Tree is not a fire hazard. Real Trees do not spontaneously combust, nor can they start or cause a fire. Here are just a few of the statistics to support NCTA's message; more information can also be found on the NCTA web site at faketree.cfm or -From 1980 to 2004, the number of fires involving all Christmas Trees, real and artificial, has decreased dramatically. -In 2004, less than 0.001% of all trees used were the item first ignited in home fires. -For the period of , of all the fires where any type of Christmas Tree was the first item ignited. -44% of the fires involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction -24% were caused by the tree being too close to some type of heat source -6% were the result of someone, typically a child, playing with fire or other heat source -Results of test conducted by National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1999 and 2007 indicate that a tree maintained in water will not support combustion when the source of ignition is removed. For more information, visit 222.fire.nist.gov/tree_fire.htm -According to the National Tree Protection Association (NFPA), approximately 0.12% of residential fires involve a Christmas Tree-both real and artificial. -Christmas Trees are not as likely to be the first item ignited in residential fires as many other common household items, for example: -newspapers are magazines: 12 times more likely -boxes or bags: 10 times more likely -curtains or drapes: 9 times more likely -Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wires are the most common causes of holiday fires in residences--these types of fires can be just as dangerous with an artificial tree. Tips for Your Customers Whether responding to inquiries from local media or answering your customers' questions, here is a list of tips for ensuring a positive and safe Real Christmas Tree experience. -Select a tree in good condition. -Make a fresh cut on the trunk and place in water within 6 to 8 hours. -If necessary to store temporarily, store in water in cool location. -Display indoors in a stand adequate water capacity--at least 1 quart for every inch of stem diameter (be sure to offer assistance to your customer in selecting an appropriate stand for their tree.) -Check the water level daily and replenish as needed to maintain the water level above the bottom of the tree trunk. -Display tree away from heat sources that may cause tree to dry. 8

9 -Use only listed lights that produce low heat. -Inspect lights before using and replace if wiring is worn or frayed. -Do not overload electrical circuits. -Monitor tree for freshness. I If it becomes dry, remove it from home immediately and dispose of properly. 9

10 Coloring Christmas Trees Before Harvest Adapted by permission from the Virginia Cooperative Extension Under conditions of competition, it becomes necessary for growers to produce the highest quality trees possible in order to enjoy marketing success. There are many characteristics of Christmas trees which are widely considered to be quality factors, but the most important are shape, needle retention, straightness, and color. Care in the growing and harvesting of trees can result in high quality; however, it is often not possible to control natural tree color. During the late fall, many tree species naturally lose their deep green summer color, and this can greatly reduce their marketability. This yellow, or chlorosis, is usually caused by shorter day lengths and a reduction of the solar angle, which results in a larger amount of damaging ultraviolet light. This process of yellowing may also be aided by the natural removal of nutrients from the needles and is further enhanced by cold, dry weather. Certain tree species, such as Virginia Pine, are particularly susceptible. For some species, such as Fraser Fir and Leyland Cypress, the deep green color can be maintained by adequate levels of soil fertility. The application of nitrogen fertilizers on a regular basis is sufficient to maintain healthy trees with the desired color. Many species, however, are not so responsive to fertilizer, and for these, the most common nay to maintain the desired color is to spray them with a colorant. The use of Christmas tree colorants began in 1958 in Ohio, when tests were first made by the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station. PRomising results of tests on pines and spruces first led to the development of a thriving colorant industry. 10

11 Characteristics of Tree Colorants There are a number of suppliers of tree colorants for the Christmas tree industry. Their products are generally advertised in trade journals and at trade shows and fairs. In general, these colorants all range from blue-green to green in color and are formulated as water-soluble pigments that become permanent after drying. Colorants are sold in liquid form and often come in 2.5 to 5 gallon containers. Colorants are diluted before use, with the degree of dilution depending upon hose yellow the trees are. Trees that are extremely faded or yellow will require much more colorant or a lower dilution. In general, most colorant is manufactured so that a 20:1 to 30:1 water:colorant mix is suitable. One company offers a concentrated colorant that can be diluted to 50:1. Colorants are generally classified for shipping purposes as water-extendable paints and are not dangerous chemicals. They carry the CAUTION label and have established procedures for over-exposure during application. In general, colorants are no more dangerous to use than other common household chemicals. Application of Colorants Colorants are typically applied in autumn, prior to the time of natural yellowing. Trees can be colored after yellowing; however, more colorant will be needed at this time. Most growers prefer to spray their trees prior to the first fall frost, but before the trees have noticeably yellowed. If the trees are very lightly sprayed, the faded color may appear under the colorant later in the season. It is therefore necessary to spray all trees well, even though they may appear to have good color at the time of spraying. 11

12 Trees should not be sprayed when it is raining of the weather is extremely foggy or humid, of when there is water or frost on the trees. Temperatures should be at least 40 degrees FAhrenheit, and wind should be minimal. Depending upon brand, the colorant will dry in 15 to 30 minutes and will form a durable green film that will last at least one growing season after application. The first step in coloring trees is to prepare the spray mixture. The dilution rate depends upon the condition of the trees and the desired color, and will vary depending upon the product. It is best to follow the recommended rates at first, and then modify them to suit your own needs. Some companies produce colorant for specific tree species, and these specialized products may or may not be suitable for your situation. Some products have their greatest effectiveness when the mixing water has a ph of 7.0. Manufacturers of these products typically provide a trip of hydrion paper to check the ph of your water. The addition of 1/2 teaspoon of household ammonia per 10 gallons of water will generally raise the ph by one unit. A ph higher than 7.0 will not affect the performance of the colorant. In order to correctly apply colorant to trees, some type of spray equipment is necessary. For small plantations or areas where the trees are close together, hand-operated backpack sprayers work best. However, for larger plantations, there are not very economical. Small backpack sprayers have only a 1- to 3-gallon 12

13 tank capacity, which limits their usefulness to large growers. For medium-sized growers, the backpack mist blowers are quite effective. The sprays the mixture of of colorant and water on a blast of air and will cover may more trees per gallon than the hand-operated backpack sprayers. The backpack mist blowers also have a small capacity and need to be refilled every 15 minutes or so. Some larger growers have mechanized their spray operations and commonly use large tanks attached to tractors and multiple spray guns attached to the tank with hoses that may reach two to three rows from the tank. Productivity per man-hour varies depending upon the type of equipment. On the average, using backpack equipment, one worker can spray 50 to 60 trees per hour but a difficult time sustaining that rate for a whole day. It is important to select the spray operation that best suits your needs. Some plantings may be on slopes too steep for a tractor, necessitating the use of backpack spray equipment. Spray nozzle selection is also important. If the spray tip is too small, the colorant will drift away from the tree, and if too large, the coverage will be poor. Colorant tends to clog up nozzles and spray hoses, so it is necessary to clean all equipment with a lightweight lubricating oil prior to spraying colorant. This enables a quick, efficient cleanup by simply washing the colorant off with a jet of water. If precautions are not taken, all spray equipment, tractors, etc., will end up irreversibly green after continued use. Cost Estimates The total cost of the spraying operation depends upon the equipment used, labor costs, worker efficiency, and the colorant. Some average cost figures (based on the label coverage rates of 120 trees per gallon) are as follows: Cost of spraying 1000 trees = 8.3 gal colorant x $18.00 per gal colorant + 17 hr x $6.00 per hr = $ per 1000 trees or about 25 cents per tree. Cost figures are very difficult to calculate because so many variables ultimately influence the total cost of the coloring operation. A small, part-time grower with little overhead and no labor or equipment costs may have a cost as low as $ per 1,000 trees. A large commercial grower, however, may have expensive equipment and labor with workers' compensation, unemployment, vacation, etc. This type of grower may have costs as high as $ per 1,000 trees. The efficiency of the operation, layout of the plantation, and size and condition of the trees all greatly influence the total coloring costs. Benefits of Using Colorants Trees that are colored correctly have an increase in quality that will positively influence their marketability. Many growers have noticed that customers on choose-and-cut farms will often select colored trees over uncolored trees. In fact, selective coloring can be used to improve the appearance of a lower quality tree relative to its uncolored, but better formed, neighbors. Such trees are often selected by buyers based on color alone. 13

14 Although it is not desirable to color trees that are not sold, the colorant will not affect growth of the tree during the next growing season. While the color may last during the next harvest season, the new growth will be subject to fading and yellowing. This may necessitate re-coloring the tree. Insurance for your standing trees In searching for advertisers Liza came up with this company that would not advertise. They do offer a product that may be of interest to some. For that reason their information is being included as a news item in this issue. Go to this web site and see what they have to offer. It is a form of crop insurance that covers specific problems, such as wind and ice damage to crops. If anyone decides to purchase, ask for advertising in Tree Talk. 14

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16 Tax Planning Season by Shelly Sorem As Printed in the American Christmas Tree Journal Summer is past, fall is here and harvest is just around the corner. As you head into this year's harvest, it is also time to begin thinking about year-end tax planning. Tax planning is underutilized by many growers and yet can have a profound effect on your bottom line. The old planning adage was "accelerate expenses and delay income" since a tax dollar saved now is worth more on a time-value basis than a tax dollar saved later. However, in these days of ever more complicated tax laws, alternative minimum tax (AMT), and a grower's unique need to monitor susceptibility to Social Security taxation, that adage doesn't necessarily hold true. Here's what you need to do now: -Do a project of income and expenses for the year that includes year-to-date results and a projection through the end of the year. -Consult with a qualified tax advisor for help in analyzing the projection for both the current year and the following two to three years so that a general multi-year plan can be developed. By controlling adjusted gross income (AGI) from year-toyear, growers, can avoid losing deductions and exemptions to phase-outs caused when AGI exceeds allowable phase-out limits. -Remember that those of you treating your trees as capital gain property are paying maximum capital gain tax rates of 15%, and some of you may even be paying at the 5% rate. Many experts believe this is as good as it gets and even though it has been extended through 2010, it is anybody's guess how long it will be around. With that said, you should manage your receipts to take optimum advantage of lower tax rates. -Be aware of the alternative minimum tax (AMT). It was initiated as a means to tax wealthy individuals who were using tax shelters to shelter large amounts of income. However, with the recent tax changes many more individuals in the middle income range are getting hitting with AMT. Year-end tax planning must consider the potential affects to AMT. This is a complex tax area and your tax advisor should be able to steer you through it. Once you have a handle o this year's income and expense projections, look at your current tax planning opportunities: -Take advantage of the Section 179 election to expense certain depreciable business assets in the year of purchase. Eligible assets include new or used business tangible personal property and software for service during Items 16

17 of real property (buildings, building improvements, land, and land improvements) are not eligible for this election. -Tax credits are available for select hybrid automobiles. Many new hybrid vehicles are eligible for tax credits; your automobile dealer is your best source for determining qualifying vehicles. Not all these opportunities will be appropriate for every grower, so be sure to secure professional tax advice before implementing any of the tax planning opportunities presented. Shelly Sorem is a partner with Spectrum CPA Group, LLP in Corvallis, Oregon, specializing in Christmas Tree and timber tax accounting and business issues. You can find out more about the company and its service at 17

18 Does Your Farm Need Liability Insurance? Past Claims Against Christmas Tree Farmers and Ways to Help Prevent Them By Mike McCartha, South Carolina Christmas Tree Association During a casual discussion on insurance at a recent South Carolina Christmas Tree Association meeting, one of the more experienced growers in our association remarked, "Whenever a customer asks me if our farm has insurance I immediately respond, "NO, we can't afford insurance." "You don't have insurance?!", asked another grower. "Oh, I have insurance, " responded the first grower. "I just don't want potential scammers thinking they can win the lottery by tripping over a stump." The above conversation is submitted as an example of how worried many of us are about the litigious nature of our society. And perhaps with good reason. Tom Wilkins of Keelson Partners says his company has experience approximately 100 claims against Christmas tree operations over the past five years. The leading claim is "Slip and Fall" on the insured's premises. Some of the causes include: -Slippery or wet surfaces -Too much slope -Tripped over hay -Stepped in hold -Tripped over stump -Tripped over equipment Wilkins says, "On-premises claims also include children running through the area into wires, customers stepping onto spikes, or injuries caused by employees. A serious claim two years ago was from an employee who was cutting twine with a box cutter, and inadvertently cut a customer on the back of this neck. On-premises claims can also include the damage to customer vehicles while loading trees, although this is not a great concern since the claims tend to be less than $1,000." But protecting your business against customer injuries is the most important reason to have insurance. Wilkins: "A typical broken ankle costs approximately $5,000. If this claim were to happen to an elderly customer, the injury could become a disability. If this claim were to happen to a working parent, lost wages impact the claim amount." Wilkins also warns that if claims involve an attorney, the starting point could be $50,000. "Off-premises claims generally fall in three categories", says Wilkins. "Damage from the products sold, damage from delivery of trees, and damage resulting from auto accidents as trees fall off the vehicles." This last one can lead to expensive claims, says Wilkins, noting that his company has responded to a claim involving a 30-car pile-up in Los Angeles. 18

19 When asked if the grower should secure the tree or let the customer do it, Meagan D. Zearfoss of Pioneer Insurance had this to say: "We do not advise the customer either way, as there are two thoughts on this issue, but in either case, the grower is covered for damages, if they are negligent, by general liability insurance. "Once thought", she explains, "is if the grower takes responsibility for attaching the tree, it usually will be done properly. However, the negative is that he is much more at risk to be liable if the tree is attached improperly, and he is at risk of damaging the customer's vehicle while attaching the tree. Training your employees is a must if you decide to attach the tree to ensure that it is attached properly and no damage occurs to the vehicle, customer, or tree during the process. The negative here is that damages usually come with an out-of-pocked deductible on general liability, should he cause damage." Are there steps we growers should be taking to lessen the chance of claims or to keep from being negligent? "Being proactive in promoting a safe farm is a must," says Zearfoss. She offers the following ways to prevent and minimize potential losses: -Adequately care for and maintain all customer areas -Identify potential trip and fall areas -Restrict access to any areas that would present potential harm to customers -Restricted areas should be clearly marked -Removal of ice and snow from roadways, paths, sidewalks, and parking lots -Restrict customers to cutting trees with a hand saw only -Animals should be in a secure area and supervised -No trespassing signs and fencing around perimeter of property -Protect customers from nuisances such as pools, pons, railroads, dogs, etc. -Train employees in proper use of farm tractors, customer supervision, attaching trees to customer vehicles, and other farm procedures -Obtain certificates of insurance from outside vendors, contractors, independent contractors -Immediately after a loss, gather complete and thorough information of events surrounding the accident, including documenting witness accounts and obtaining contact information of witnesses and the injured -Make sure you have coverage in the even an employee is injured, not just your customers In this litigiously oriented market, it might be shrewd to let your customers THINK you don't have insurance, but actually opening your farm without it would be risky. 19

20 Minutes for Board of Directors Meeting September Meeting was called to order by President DeWayne Herrin at 8:20 pm at the home of Walter and Delores Lee. Present were Andy Kinsey, Walter Lee, Gordon Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Bill Murray, Chuck Berry, Matthew Gay and Linda Wilson. President Herrin reminded the Board that this would be his last meeting. He stated that the Board needed to find replacements for Walter Lee, Bill Murray and Ron Parrish. Also, the Vice-President position is vacant. Discussion followed as to possible candidates. Gordon Hunter, National Director, gave a report on the National Association of Christmas Tree Growers. He announced that Chattanooga, Tennessee has been approved for the site of next year s national meeting (August 8-12). It was discussed whether or not to hold national meetings on a bi-annual basis. Also, they discussed charging large tree growers a fee per tree to raise money for national advertising campaigns. Mr. Hunter said that National was looking for sponsors for the meeting in Chattanooga to help defray costs. They are asking each state association to help with this. They are willing to split any sponsor 20

21 money on a 50/50 basis. Mr. Hunter saw this as a way for our association to raise money. Mr. Herrin asked the Board s thoughts on changing to one meeting instead of twice a year. It was moved and voted to recommend at the general meeting that we change to a one meeting in the fall beginning in the The editor of Tree Talk, Lisa Smith, for the past two years, has asked to be replaced. Natalie Cooper has agreed to take over these responsibilities. She is the daughter of Tommy Thompson. He excused himself during the Board s discussion. The Board voted unanimously approved to have Natalie Cooper as editor. The financial data was not available. Treasurer was asked to call Coy Dillahunty for report for association meeting. Coy was unable to attend because of a shoulder injury. 21

22 Minutes for General Meeting Georgia Christmas Tree Association September The meeting was called to order by Walter Lee. The association was welcomed to Oconee County by Chuck Horton, County Commissioner and Tom Pooser, Chamber of Commerce. President, Dewayne Herrin, introduced visitors from Florida. He also recognized the vendors present. The recommendation from the Board to change meetings from bi-annual to annual beginning 2010 was discussed. The association voted to approve this motion. He also mentioned the need for volunteers for three director positions and a President-elect. A new sign designed by Sheryl Herrin was unveiled. It is to be used at the Georgia National Fair. Its purpose is to teach visitors the environmental advantages of a fresh Christmas tree. Linda Wilson, Treasurer, gave a financial report from the information provided by Coy Dillahunty. Dr. Jean Woodard, UGA Plant Pathologist, gave a detailed report on research she has done on needle blight in Leyland Cypress. It was followed by questions from the floor. Kent Wolfe, AgriMarketing Specialist, UGA, gave us an overview of Agri Tourism in Georgia. Greg Smith gave an overview of the Trees for Troops program. National Director, Gordon Hunter, gave an update of the National Association meeting to be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee in August He encouraged members to find sponsors for the meeting as the money would be split between National and the State Association. He felt this could be used to defray our costs to attend the meeting. Respectfully submitted, Linda Wilson Secretary 22

23 Finance Reports Georgia Christmas Tree Association, Inc. 11/24/08 Balance Sheet Standard As of November 24, 2008 Nov 24, '08 ASSETS Current Assets Checking/Savings Checking, First Pike 5, Total Checking/Savings 5, Accounts Receivable Accounts Receivable Total Accounts Receivable Other Current Assets First Pike CD's FIRST PIKE CD , Total First Pike CD's 10, Total Other Current Assets 10, Total Current Assets 15, Other Assets Printer ink & Parts 1, Property & Equipment Office Equipment 3, Total Property & Equipm... 3, Total Other Assets 4, TOTAL ASSETS 20, LIABILITIES & EQUITY Liabilities Current Liabilities Accounts Payable Accounts Payable Total Accounts Payable Credit Cards Chase Visa Total Credit Cards Total Current Liabilities Total Liabilities Equity Current year Earnings -13, Historical Balancing 58, Prior year surplus Equity -13, Retained Earnings -13, Net Income 1, Total Equity 19, TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUI... 20, Page 1 23

24 Georgia Christmas Tree Association, Inc. 11/24/08 Profit and Loss Standard January 1 through November 24, 2008 Jan 1 - Nov 24, '08 Ordinary Income/Expense Income Interest Income Meeting income 1, Membership Dues DUES , Total Membership Dues 6, Tree Talk Income Tree Talk Advertising 3, Tree Talk Subscriptions Total Tree Talk Income 3, Total Income 11, Gross Profit 11, Expense Contract Services Book keeping Services 2, Total Contract Services 2, Internet Expense Licenses and Permits Meeting Expense Office Supplies Postage and Delivery Professional Fees Accounting Total Professional Fees Program Expense Real Tree Program 1, Trees for Troops Total Program Expense 1, Supplies Office 8.43 Total Supplies 8.43 Tree Talk Expenses Editors Commission (Li Tree Talk Mailing Tree Talk Printing Tree Talk Paper Tree Talk printer suppli... 2, Total Tree Talk Printing 3, Total Tree Talk Expenses 4, Total Expense 9, Net Ordinary Income 1, Net Income 1, Page 1 24

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34 Intentional blank page Georgia Christmas Tree Association, Inc. 401 Oxford Circle Concord, GA Change Service Requested 34