Pandemic increases demand for Christmas trees while farmers experience shortage

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The pandemic continues to impact holiday traditions this year. With Christmas less than a month away, 2020 is posing new challenges for Christmas tree suppliers.

Christmas tree supply is down this year.

“In fact, we’re kind of fortunate to have trees. A lot of people were not able to secure trees this year that have been around for years and years.” said Raise the Tree owner, Ian Dovan

But this shortage isn’t because people aren’t buying trees. Demand is actually higher this year, which is the issue. To understand the shortage, you have to go back at least a decade.

“It actually goes back to the recession of ’08. A lot of folks were put out of business or their trees were not sold in ’08, so the growers planted less trees in ’09, ’10, ’11 and ’12. Trees take about 8 to 10 years to grow. So here we are 12 years later just seeing the catch up of lack of supply from years ago,” Dovan said.

Because this year has been challenging for so many, people are looking forward to the holidays, which is why the demand for Christmas trees is so high.

“It’s symbolic of something new. People are ready for something new,” Dovan said.

However, this year there are less Christmas tree farms to fill that demand. Elisa Chesney says picking a tree is her family’s tradition.

“In 2020, we’ve all had just a lot of things that haven’t panned out and it’s just been hard and so there’s something really fun about going to get your Christmas tree and it feels like…Christmas,” Chesney said.

The shortage coupled with an increase in demand means supply will not last long. Dovan says this year, it’s better to get your tree sooner rather than later.

About Raise the Tree

Raise the tree originated as a Christmas tree door delivery service. Today, you can choose from tree delivery to your door step, or the experience of choosing your tree.

Raise the tree has committed to donating 10% of their proceeds to non-profits in the Knoxville community. So far, they’ve given over $30,000 to local charities.

They have 3 locations, two in Knoxville, one in Maryville.

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