Interesting piece by Anne Raver in today’s New York Times. She covers not just the
routine spraying of these trees with fungicides, but also the good news that the certification "Naturally Grown" is now available to organic growers who can’t afford the burdensome process of becoming certified "organic".
It also looks looks to me like a better certification because it includes other sustainable gardening practices like erosion control and composting.
Photo credit: Christmastree.org.