Weather and economic factors contribute to this year’s Christmas tree shortage

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ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – Have you ever thought about the ways the weather impacts your Christmas tree? What about the economy of Christmas tree farms? 6 Storm Team Meteorologist Victoria Cavaliere went to Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm in Anderson County to find out what has caused this year’s Christmas tree shortage.

Leo Collins of Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm told us that both drought and heavy rain can affect the growth of trees.

“Well there is a number of factors. I mean, the dry weather and the fires got a few farms and the drought probably hurt growth a little bit,” Collins said.

However, it is not simply the most recent weather which makes an impact. Most Christmas trees that you purchase are between seven-to-10 years old.

Collins said that trees tend to grow about a foot a year, so a seven-foot tree is typically about seven years old. This means the weather over a decade could be impacting your tree.

Another consideration, where the seedling is from.

“If you are getting the seedlings from a Northern Nursery, a lot of the times we are ready to plant but they can’t harvest them because the seedlings are frozen in the ground” says Collins.

All these weather factors can contribute to shortages, but economic factors also make a difference.

Many tend to believe that Christmas Tree farms can be a lucrative business, but too many Christmas trees have consequences too.

Collins told us that, “people over-plant because they think they are going to get rich. You know a dollar and a half-seedling going to get sixty dollars for it, so they over-plant and then when they come to market, there is a surplus. So the price is down and so they quit planting and when you quit planting, then about ten years later, the shortage starts again.”

The good news?

This most recent shortage is expected to last only one more year.

MORE | 6 Storm Team Weather Blog

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