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O Christmas tree: NC State researchers are trying to engineer the 'perfect' Fraser fir

Researchers from NC State are growing more than 1,000 trees with the best genetics.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Your Christmas tree is probably already up, looking beautiful and bright. But in a few years, you could be buying a new and improved Fraser fir thanks to North Carolina researchers. 

A team of researchers at NC State University is growing more than 1,000 trees with the best combination of genetics. It's all happening in Ashe County, one of the Christmas tree capitols of the United States. 

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Experts are collecting cone-like seeds from hundreds of trees to create the "perfect" Christmas tree. They're all 6-8 feet tall, grow quickly and do a great job of retaining their needles, which can be a problem with live trees in your home. 

Because of their genetics, these trees are expected to lose less than 1% of their needles after harvest. That's great news for your living room floor. 

However, the new and improved firs won't be available anytime soon. Researchers say they're working with North Carolina state officials to make the trees commercially available by 2026. 

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