Who are we?

Photo credit :
Sapinière et Pépinière Downey (Larry Downey)

Our story


March 13th, 1969: 32 Christmas tree growers meet in Coaticook, a municipality in southeastern Quebec. They decide to create the Quebec Christmas Tree Growers Association (Association des producteurs d’arbres de Noel du Québec (APANQ)) with Lorrainy Marchessault, a skilled Franco-American grower, as their mentor. He helped numerous growers begin their Christmas tree production in Quebec and the United-States. Mr. Marchessault the director of the Christmas tree growers associations in Vermont and New-Hampshire, was a precious source of knowledge for growers in Quebec. And thus, the APANQ was founded.

The first council meeting had 12 members and elected M. Montarville Cotnoir as president and M. Jules Thibault as secretary.

On May 17th of that same year, demonstrations were organized by Richard Downey on his farm in Gould, Québec. The first of what would be called “Field Day” or ‘’Journée champêtre’’ !

Challenges the APANQ took on for the Christmas tree industry was:

  • Recognizing Christmas Tree production as admissible for government loans by the Quebec Loan Bureau(La financière agricole du Québec);
  • Establish quality control standards for the industry in order to define Christmas tree grades;
  • Promote close collaboration with american Christmas tree associations;
  • Request that the Québec department of agriculture recognize Christmas Tree Production as a crop, which makes it admissible to the same advantages as other crops.

Les pionniers. Mai 1969, première « Journée champêtre »

The pioneers
May 1969, the first « Journée champêtre ».
Jules Thibault, Montarville Cotnoir, unknown man, Richard Downey, Émery Lanctôt, Maurice Downey (holding the trees) and Jean-Louis Loubier.
Photo credit : collection of Maurice Downey.


The first edition of the journal ‘’La Branche’’ is published on the 11th of july. Originally a paper publication, now the journal is sent to the APANQ members via digital format.


The APANQ and the MAPAQ started the Réseau d’avertissement phytosanitaires (RAP) for Christmas trees with the goal to develop a complete and efficient approach to counter diseases and pests. The RAP is constantly being updated and also exists for other crops.


The department of agriculture, fisheries and food production (MAPAQ) mandated an agronomist to help with developing methods of production and to support growers. This role is mainly assumed by Dominique Choquette, advisor for the MAPAQ. You can contact her at : dominique.choquette@mapaq.qc.ca


The APANQ publishes its first website, updated in 2011, which offers accessible information for the greater population, media and businesses who wish to learn about Christmas tree production in Québec


Redesign of the website.


The website is restructured again with the goal to modernize and update its branding as well as simplify communications with its members.  

The Quebec Christmas Tree Growers association is proud to represent its growers who provide quality christmas trees to the world and looks forward to serving its members and the community for years to come. 

In order to obtain archives from the APANQ,
please contact us here.

Our mission

Since its inception in 1969, the APANQ‘s mission is to represent people and businesses interested in the development and production of Christmas trees in Quebec.

The APANQ vows to :


Photo credit :
Sapinière & Pépinière Downey (Larry Downey)