National Christmas Tree Shortage Hits the Four States
WEBB CITY, MISSOURI -
Andy Johnson, who owns and operates Bridgestone Christmas Trees with his family, tends to the trees he bought from Michigan. Since the Four States is too warm for growing Firs, he has to order them.
"It was just a real hassle getting those trees to us in a timely manner because they had a lot of new customers to try to fill the demand of not having fir trees on other farms" says Johnson.
"The fact that it takes seven to 10 years to grow a Christmas tree, the planting period for the harvesting trees for today was back in 2007 to 2009. We were in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s" says Doug Hundley from the National Christmas Tree Association. The lack of sales during that time put a stop to the harvest, creating less room for seedlings. Poor sales also meant poor revenue to plant as many trees.
Johnson says prices will remain the same this year, but the demand for fir trees will cause a slight increase next year. And the shortage of trees planted around ten years ago will effect tree sales in years to come. Johnson's supplier was about 50 Fraser fir's short on his order, which he says is the most popular tree. But they were able to replace that with Douglas Firs, Plus they grow Scotch Pine trees on the farm.
"Fraser Firs are a lot stiffer and a little skinnier. Douglas Firs are definitely fuller, they're a beautiful tree. You know it's all about personal preference" says Johnson.
Christmas trees aren't the only thing local farms still have to offer.
"Get a tree here and it also includes a hay ride and ya know hot cider and that's something you can't do at a box store and that's why we sell pre-cut trees at a Christmas tree farm"
No matter what tree you get, when the season is over and it's turned into firewood or mulch, it's the memories at the farm that won't disintegrate.
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