390 Christmas Trees Travel from Bethlehem to Military Families in South Carolina

Anna Berry | December 1, 2022
The Rocks
Volunteers pass trees to be loaded into a FedEx truck.

Volunteers helped load the trees into a FedEx truck that would transport them to South Carolina. (Photo: Nigel Manley)

On November 30, Bethlehem Elementary students and volunteers from the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests loaded up 390 Christmas trees for FedEx to deliver to military service members and their families in time for the holidays as part of the national Trees for Troops program.

Students survey the stacked fir trees.

Nigel Manley, the Forest Society’s senior outreach manager at The Rocks and board member for the National Christmas Tree Association and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, said the trees were destined for a U.S Marine Corps base in South Carolina.

Forest Society staff and business members donate trees to the program each year that are grown at The Rocks in Bethlehem, as do tree farmers from across New Hampshire and Vermont. This year’s sponsors included Autosaver Group’s Littleton Chevrolet Buick and Bank of New Hampshire and several tree farms also made significant tree donations: Mountain Star Farms in Woodsville, Nichols Trees in Lyme, and Johnson’s Christmas Tree Farms, based in Concord.

Manley helps coordinate the donations and the busy loading day, which happened at South Farm in Bethlehem this year instead of The Rocks, where renovations are underway at the Carriage Barn.
“We thank our soldiers and their families for their service and sacrifice,” said Manley. “We’re happy to help them celebrate a merry Christmas with real, farm-grown fir trees from tree farms across New Hampshire and Vermont.”

In New Hampshire there are nearly 200 Christmas tree farms throughout the state, most of them family owned and operated, tending thousands of perfect trees, according to the New Hampshire Christmas Tree Promotion Board.

Students pass trees to be loaded into a FedEx truck.
Students and volunteers formed an assembly line to load the fir trees into the FedEx truck. (Photo: Nigel Manley)

Trees for Troops, a program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, provides free, farm-grown Christmas Trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families, through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of many volunteers. Since 2005, 277,000 free, farm-grown Christmas Trees have been provided to troops and military families in the United States and overseas through Trees for Troops. 

Thousands of trees are donated by American farm families and the public, and FedEx delivers these trees to more than 70 military bases in the U.S. and overseas. FedEx has logged more than 800,000 ground miles for the Trees for Troops program.

For 2022, the Christmas Spirit Foundation estimates that 15,300 total trees will be picked up from 54 locations and given to 84 total bases. Trees are donated by individual farms and lots, the collective efforts of state and regional Christmas Tree associations, local sponsoring groups, and the customers of participating locations. Hundreds of donors and volunteers participate each year to make Trees for Troops® happen. 

Thank you to the Forest Society Business Members that donated a Rocks-grown tree to Trees for Troops this year!

  • BCM Environmental and Land Law PLLC
  • Bertstein, Shur, Swayer & Nelson PA
  • Capital City Subaru
  • Checkmate Payroll Services
  • Chinburg Properties
  • Durgin & Crowell Lumber Co.
  • Mediation Partners of New England
  • Merrimack County Savings Bank
  • NH Conservation Real Estate
  • Whalen Public & Media Relations