Yule Be Sorry

Live Christmas Tree Shortages




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According to the National Christmas Tree Association, more than 27 million holiday trees were purchased in the U.S. last year. But during the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, growers didn’t have the funds to plant adequately, and smaller crops are just starting to hit the market now, creating higher prices. Some varieties take up to 12 years to reach holiday height.

Exports from the Pacific Northwest will be down about 1.5 million trees this year, according to Ken Cook, whose McKenzie Farms has 8 million trees planted across 10,000 acres in Oregon. “There’s a huge shortage of Christmas trees, and it’ll continue to be that way for at least 10 years,” says the 80-year-old farmer.

Supplies are also somewhat diminishing in North Carolina and Michigan, which have the nation’s second- and third-largest Christmas tree outputs, respectively.

More households now put up faux trees than real trees. One benefit of real trees stems from their ability to capture carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as they grow. They’re also biodegradable and are usually shipped regionally, not from overseas.


This article appears in the December 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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