Slim Pickings for Christmas Trees

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! The holidays are fast approaching but Christmas trees are running low! North Carolina is the nation’s second largest producer of Christmas trees, most of which is in the mountain counties of the state. Production has run into a supply and demand issue this year. North Carolina, as well as the rest of the nation, is seeing a Christmas tree shortage.

There are many factors causing this. It started in 2007, when a recession began for the Christmas tree industry. For many years, the industry didn’t see much income, resulting in fewer available saplings and fewer farms since many closed during this time. The number of trees planted each year declined. You may ask, how is this affecting the Christmas tree market now? Well, the average home wants a 6-7-foot tree, which takes on average 7 to 10 years to grow! So, the reduction in trees being planted back then means there are less 6-7-foot trees available now.

The tree industry is also being impacted from the other side of the business. With COVID-19 driving people indoors, everyone is looking for activities to do outside. Choosing a Christmas tree is a fun experience for everyone, so more families are planning this activity! This shortage coupled with increased demand means that vendors are shutting down and pickings are becoming slim.

So, if you are a late decorator (like me) don’t continue to put off going to pick your tree! I hope you and yours get a Christmas tree and have a very Happy Holidays!

Christmas Tree Program at the Mountain Research Station. Picture by Tucker Worley

Christmas Tree Program at the Mountain Research Station. Picture by Tucker Worley