It may cost a little more for a live Christmas tree this year and the culprit may be the 2008 recession.

“There is a legitimate problem with the Christmas Tree crop due to the post recession crunch from 2008-2010,” said Jennifer Wilson of Wilson’s Nursery in Frankfort. “Farmers just didn’t have the capital to buy the tree plugs during those years and some farmers even went out of business,” said Wilson. 

While this year the shortage has become more obvious, it has been going on for years, she said.

In the United States, North Carolina and Oregon are the two major tree-producing states and they each have fewer trees to offer this year. Unlike most products, it takes years to grow a desirable Christmas tree, typically eight-to-10 years, according to the national Christmas Tree Association. So, the difficulty of the recession in 2008 has created the shortage of today. Oddly enough, just prior to 2008, there were too many trees on the market, driving down the price of the trees and causing growers to reduce plantings even before the recession.

The most popular size Christmas trees is seven-to-nine feet tall. The tree crop being harvested this year should be the last crop to be affected by the recession. 

Some 30 million trees are harvested nation wide each year, according to the North Carolina Christmas Tree Association website. Those tress have a positive impact on the environment by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen as well as being bio- degradable.

The live Christmas Tree market is stable and growers she visited in North Carolina were optimistic, Wilson said.

“I don’t think we’re going to run out of Christmas trees anytime soon,” said Wilson.

 

Jackie Anders can be reached at janders@news-graphic.com.

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