MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – People may need to trim back their Christmas tree expectations this year. A tight delivery means…
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – People may need to trim back their Christmas tree expectations this year.
A tight delivery means that some shoppers will pay more and look further after the perfect Christmas tree this high season. But there is no need for panic buying on Friday, because industry experts say consumers will end up on something to decorate this high season.
The unevenness of the yuletide market was created a decade ago when a glut of Christmas trees and the great recession were combined with pushing many growers out of business. Now the supply is tight and it takes eight to ten years – the time needed to grow a Christmas tree ̵
1; to increase supply.
“It’s bad. It’s the worst I’ve seen in a long time,” said Matthew LaCasce, partner of Finestkind Christmas Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. The farm sells about 10,000 trees each season and sends down orders every day from desperate retailers, LaCasce said.
Major retailers are doing well, officials say. It is the smaller charities, the school groups and the mum and pop operators who have to shrink for trees.
On Christmas eve, Christmas tree salesman Richard Tajiri said he ended 1,000 trees short this season.
“It’s going to be tough for everyone.” There’s nothing you can do about it, “said Tajiri, as field several dozens of conversations a day in Honolulu.” It’s first come true. “
Lovell & # 39; s Florist and Nursery in Medford, Massachusetts, arrived at a hodgepodge of suppliers from Canada, North Carolina and the West Coast because the usual wholesaler could not deliver, said owner LaVerne Lovell. They expected their last 1000 trees to be delivered Friday.
“It was about two days of complete panic,” she recalled. “The Christmas season carries us through the winter. If we do not have any trees, it would have been a real nightmare. “
The American legion in Dover, Massachusetts, also had to search high and low for 450 trees for its annual collection.” It gets tough ” says Tom McGill, who oversees the effort.
Supply and demand issues are not new. Like other crops, Christmas trees are a product that goes through cycles from too little trees to over-offer.
But regional factors also exacerbate the problem.  For example, a springtime damaged tree on a few farms in Canada’s Nova Scotia, a shortage of supply in the northeast. Some Canadian farms in New Brunswick are buried under snow from recent storms, making it difficult for them to get trees on trucks for Shipping.
A shortage of Fraser trees, the most popular on the east coast, had some North Carolina buyers scrambling to find balsam spruce in New England. In Oregon, some men shoes Fraser-fir trees from the east instead of precious spruce which is the most popular tree on the west coast.
“Availability and demand always seem to be in some flux” Chal Jordgren, a Christmas tree specialist and professor at Oregon State University, said via email.
All said, US consumers are expected to buy about 27 million trees, roughly the same as the last two years, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Most people will find what they want, but prices may be a bit higher than last year’s average retail price of around $ 75, “said Tim O’Connor, Associate Director.
With the low supply, shoppers may want to start early if they want a lot of choice and variety.
Spencer Putman, Weybridge, Vermont, did not worry about a purchase. He only paid $ 5 for a license to chop down his own tree in 400,000 acres of Green Mountain National Forest.
Associated Press writer David Sharp in Portland, Maine and Wilson Ring in Montpelier contributed to this report.
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