Christmas Tree Shortage Nationwide Prompts Increased Prices and Limited Variety
KTUL - December 11, 2023 5:55 am
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — National reports show a lower supply of Christmas trees than usual.
“There is a shortage nationwide has been for a couple three years,” said Bill Jacobs, the Owner of Owasso Christmas Tree & Berry Farm.
Jacobs says that because Christmas trees are so labor intensive, and because of a labor shortage, farmers started planting wine grapes, hops, and hazelnuts instead of Christmas trees.
“They didn’t go back and plant more trees. So now, there is a shortage because of the lack of farmers growing trees in Washington, Oregon, and North Carolina. So the price is going up,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs says this has made it difficult to find varieties of trees.
“We had difficulty in finding Fraser Firs from North Carolina,” said Jacobs.
He says Fraser Firs prices have jumped so high that they would have to sell it for $50 more per slug of an eight-foot tree than they would for a Noble Fir.
“We decided just to go with the Noble Firs and Oregon trees,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs says he hopes more farmers will return to planting more Christmas trees.
“If the prices go up, and they can make more money, and there’s more labor, they can make more money or make as much money on trees as they do other crops,” said Jacobs.
Randy Owens, the Owner of Pleasant Valley Farms, says it will take several years to get the supply back.
“There’s new people coming into the farming with Christmas trees. Until they start planting more, You’re talking 6 -8 years, up to 10, on some of these trees to get a viable Christmas tree,” said Owens.
Jacobs says that not only has the shortage impacted what Christmas trees he can buy, but the weather has impacted the number of Virginia Pine seedlings he’ll have next year for his crops.