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Christmas tree farmers prepare for years of supply shortage as sales go up

Posted at 8:22 PM, Nov 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-25 23:53:13-05

OWASSO, Okla. -- Sales are up at the Owasso Christmas Tree and Berry Farm.

But once again the number of trees on site is getting smaller as farmers face a Christmas tree shortage across the country.

In this farm's crop rotation they're down by about a thousand, and nationally Christmas tree hubs like Oregon and North Carolina have cut back after the market became saturated years ago.

"Now the farmers can't get the labor they need to grow Christmas trees so they're planting crops like hops and grapes and hazelnuts," owner Bill Jacobs said.

Jacobs says his prices will largely be unaffected, but shoppers tell 2 Works for You the selection is smaller than what they're used to seeing.

"We come around this time of year every year to get our trees. This year seems like it's a little bit less than normal. But still got a good selection here, they've always done a great job with their trees," Travis Vickrey said.

The amount of trees free to cut down at the farm went from 3,000 to 2,000. Some shoppers said much of what is available is leftover from last year.

"There definitely is a shortage of trees this year. I believe next year is going to be a lot worse because I don't think these are going to grow to get this big in a year," Loren Edwards said.

Jacobs expects another two years until his farm is back to normal. At the national level there isn't a clear end in sight.

"Normally the cycle is about ten years. It takes about a ten year cycle for the farmers to get back. But last year we were in Oregon and some of the farmers out there said they didn't think the shortage would ever go away," Jacobs said.

The owner said Grand Firs will be more expensive this season and there is a shortage of Nordmann firs.



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