Northwest tree shortage leads to Christmas conundrum in for Utah merchants

Lucy Bush
November 26, 2017

WILSON, NY- The rush has been on all week to get Christmas Tree Farms ready for this weekend after Thanksgiving.

Unangst's answers were reassuring: Yes, we have trees, and so do other Lehigh Valley tree farmers.

The Christmas tree industry in CT has grown significantly in recent years and now contributes about $10 million in annual economic activity.

A tree sponsored by Capitol Computers features Patriots ornaments in the River of Trees event Friday in downtown Augusta
A tree sponsored by Capitol Computers features Patriots ornaments in the River of Trees event Friday in downtown Augusta. Staff

Honey Bear has tried to keep its prices for smaller trees in line with recent years, given that people with fewer economic resources tend to purchase those trees. However, prelit artificial trees are generally more expensive, and you can't change the size or colour of the lights from year to year.

"We might need two trees this year", she said.

"Austin's going to run out of real Christmas trees, so just don't wait till the last minute", said Coan. This year was the first time Bakersfield resident, Amy Patterson, went home with a precut tree.

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"Prices are definitely up", Zellner said.

Tree cause 250 home fires a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

"I think it got to the point that most farmers in the last month and half, two months it nearly got to a first come first serve basis", Poe said.

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That's the signature tree of North Carolina, one of the nation's Christmas tree industry powerhouses, said Jennifer Greene, North Carolina Christmas Tree Association executive director.

"Locally", he said, "we should be fine".

"In our cool wet winters, a tree outside in cool conditions can maintain "freshness" for months", Landren wrote via email.

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A tight supply could affect the quality, selection and price. He also said in 2011 Cardinal Tree Farm planted more trees with the thought of this lower supply coming on.

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