HEISKELL, Tenn. (WATE) — When is the right time to get your Christmas tree? Farmers are saying this holiday season, it’s now.
Instead of jingle bells, Leo Collins is hearing ringing —the phones won’t stop. It’s the Christmas season and his tree farm just opened this week. They’re fully stocked now, but they won’t be for long.
“Right now we have about 1,200 trees. That’s a lot of trees to sell,” said Leo Collins, owner of Bluebird Christmas tree farm.
Collins says he doesn’t think he’ll have a problem selling his trees this year. There’s been a Christmas tree shortage impacting farms across the country for the last few years.
“Last year we sold out. It was the first year we ever sold out. We had five weekends to sell trees and by Saturday of the third weekend, we were out of trees,” Collins said.
He says in previous years some people would come to the farm as late as Christmas Eve to get their tree.
“We won’t make it to Christmas Eve. I’m sure of that. I’d be stunned if we did. With a lot of people realizing about the shortage when they find out a place has trees then they’re going pretty early. We’re already seeing more people coming on the Friday before Thanksgiving than we ever have,” Collins said.
The shortage is actually a result of what didn’t happen 10 years ago. Trees take eight-to-10 years to grow. When there aren’t enough planted in one year, it creates a shortage a decade down the line. Pair that with supply chain issues — and you get high demand and higher prices.
“Some folks are having trouble getting trees especially if the trees are coming from a distance like Oregon, they grow a lot of Christmas trees. Canada grows a lot, Michigan, Wisconsin. Getting them shipped in from there, that could be a problem. Trees that even just a few years ago sold for $50 or $55 are now $75.”
Collins says his farm hasn’t experienced any supply chain issues because they get all their trees from local farms, eliminating the need for shipping across state lines.
So, how can you secure your tree this year? Collins says buy soon and buy from farms that get their trees locally if you can. He says the supply will be better and the trees will be cheaper.
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