Christmas tree trends: What’s popular and how local growers plan for it

News outlets report a nationwide Christmas tree shortage is the result of farmers planting fewer trees when demand plummeted in 2008

BURGHILL, Ohio (WYTV) – The National Christmas Tree Association says there’s a Christmas tree shortage in parts of the country.

News outlets report a nationwide Christmas tree shortage is the result of farmers planting fewer trees when demand plummeted in 2008, or going out of business altogether. North Carolina is the nation’s second-largest Christmas tree exporter, after Oregon, producing more than 20 percent of the country’s supply.

Owners at Storeyland Christmas Tree Farm in Burghill say you shouldn’t have an issue finding a Christmas tree here in the Valley.

Storeyland owner Debbie Yeager said her farm has more than 100 acres filled with different types of trees. But trying to plant for demand from one year to the next is a challenge and tree growers in other parts of the country are feeling a pinch, which translates into higher costs for buyers.

Tree lots and tree farms that import trees from other parts of the country may be faced with higher prices and fewer trees to choose from.

“This year, there was an increase in price from the growers, so we made a slight increase to accommodate that,” said Tina Callas, with Tina’s Trees in California.

A six-foot fir tree could take seven to eight years to grow. A 12 to 15-foot tree could take 15 years. That means a lot of planning for growers.

“When we first bought this farm, we were planning for a lot more trees than what we were selling 10 years down the road,” Yeager said.

Artificial trees had a lot to do with the planning process. Over the years, more customers are buying artificial trees rather than fresh-cut.

Yeager said it is also hard to predict what the popular tree will be several years down the line. Right now, Yeager says it’s the Canaan Fir and Fraser Fir.

“For years it was the blue spruce and then it fell out of favor because the firs came in because they are so much easier to work with and they don’t have the sharp needles,” Yeager said.

Yeager said a tree that is purchased around Thanksgiving should last through Christmas. Water is a key and a blue spruce needs a lot. The first three days are important because you don’t want the stump to get dry.