What Now, Charlie Brown? Idaho Shops Prepare For Christmas Tree Shortage

Oct 10, 2017

Credit North End Organic Nurservy / via Facebook

It might not be Halloween yet, but according to the Idaho Statesman – it’s probably time to make your Christmas tree plans.

That’s because of a shortage some retailers are reporting. The North End Organic Nursery wrote to customers on Facebook earlier this month that prices are likely to be higher this winter, and that they should consider ordering their greenery now.

The Statesman reports that at least one Oregon tree farm is feeling the squeeze.

“ 'This year we’re getting 10 to 20 times the normal inquiries [from retail sellers],' said Casey Grogan, production manager of his family farm, Silver Bells Christmas Tree Farm in the western Oregon town of Silverton, near Salem...The Pacific Northwest is the largest Christmas tree growing region in the country. In 2016, Oregon produced 5.2 million trees; Washington produced 1.5 million. Other top growing states: North Carolina (3.5 million), Michigan (2.3 million) and Pennsylvania (2.3 million)." - Idaho Statesman

It seems like there are a few factors contributing to the shortage. For starters, the Great Recession put some farms in the Northwest out of business, and so 10 years later the number of seedlings ready to be harvested is down. The Statesman points to drought and wildfires – as well as an influx of fake Christmas trees – as other causes.

But despite the higher demand this year, retailers are wary of jacking up prices too high, for fear that it will drive people to buy fake trees instead.

Now what would Charlie Brown say about that?

 

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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