By Jorge Calvillo (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Dec 03, 2013 08:42 PM EST

(Photo: Reuters)

Latino workers are the ones propping up the Christmas tree industry in North Carolina.

News agency EFE pointed out that every year most of the employees in charge of cutting down Christmas trees are Latinos.

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The natural pine industry is one of the best investments North Carolina has made since many American homes prefer natural trees over plastic ones.

"The smell of pine tree around the house is a synonym with Christmas, and this year the trees are cute and strong", Mary Hernández, a consumer, told EFE.

Most of the undocumented immigrants living in the United States carry out the heaviest jobs in the agricultural industry, and they are the main employees in the harvest of fruit and vegetables.

North Carolina's Forestry Department said that almost a thousand Latinos carry out the entire work process required for Christmas trees. Latinos plant, fertilize and cut down over 5 million trees a year.

Since the early 80's, pine tree industry companies began to hire Mexican immigrants through the H2A work visa program.

In an interview with EFE, the director of extension services of Watauga County, Jim Hamilton, explained that most of the Latinos in the industry are Mexican and they arrived temporarily to North Carolina to carry out their work from October to December.

The Department of Agriculture said that 2013's season will be one of the most productive thanks to rains that helped pine trees grow to greater quality than previous years.

The Christmas Trees Association reported that in North Carolina alone there are 1,600 tree farms.

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