Shortage of Christmas Trees Expected This Holiday Season
TUALATIN, Ore. -- Planning on buying a real Christmas tree this
year? You may want to check the price tag first.
Industry experts say Oregon is in the midst of a tree shortage.
Because of that, prices could be slightly higher this year.
Casey Grogan, a Silverton tree farmer and board member with the
Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, blames the shortage
on an abundance of trees a decade ago."
At one point, we were selling trees for less than they cost to
grow," said Grogan. "There was too much competition."
As a result, some tree farms went out of business. Other farmers
switched to different crops. All of this happened during the
"That was sort of a double whammy. And it hit a lot of farms
hard," said Grogan.
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, the amount of
trees cut and sold by Oregon growers dropped 26 percent between
2010 and 2015. The Oregon Department of Agriculture also reports
that the number of licensed Christmas tree growers in the state has
declined over recent years.
As seedlings planted during the recession have started to
mature, the state is feeling the effects.
"There's a shortage of Christmas trees," said Craig Lee, who
grows Christmas trees on his Tualatin farm. "So the price is way up
on them. The wholesale price especially."
Grogan expects prices to rise about ten percent.
"I hate to see any consumer go without having to find a real
Christmas tree," he said.
At the same time, Oregon Christmas trees remain popular in
out-of-state markets. According to the Christmas Tree Association,
roughly 92 percent of the state's trees are exported out of the
area with California and Mexico being popular destinations. In
2016, Oregon produced 5.2 million trees.
Grogan's advice: buy early if you're wanting to guarantee a good
tree this year.
"Bigger concern might be that everybody may not get a tree this
season. So I would suggest people go out and shop early and get
their tree sooner than normal," he said.
Read the artcile on KGW.com
Written by Taylor Viydo
Tuesday, October 24, 2017