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Owasso Christmas tree farm keeping supply steady amid nationwide shortage

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 19:49:03-05

OWASSO, Okla. — The Owasso Christmas Tree and Berry Farm is gearing up for Thanksgiving weekend, which is its busiest of the season. However, the farm here is feeling some of the effects of the nationwide Christmas tree shortage.

For 40 years, the Owasso Christmas Tree and Berry Farm has been a source of holiday cheer for Green Country families.

“We’re always a fan of the real tree," said Dan DeBell, who was Christmas Tree shopping at the farm with his family. "It smells nice. And, I don’t know, it’s a good experience coming out and cutting down your own tree.”

The tree farm grows its own pine trees and imports precut fir trees from North Carolina and Oregon.

Owner Bill Jacobs said their relationship with their suppliers has helped them as the nation faces a Christmas tree shortage. However, they are seeing some problems.

“When the shortage started a few years ago, they cut all the big trees," Jacobs said. "So, now you’ve gotta wait another 20 years to get back to the big trees again.”

The pine trees grown in Oklahoma take about five years before they’re ready to be cut. Jacobs said they have about 2,500 of those available this year.

Meanwhile, their North Carolina Fraser fir tree supplier cut back. So, instead of two semi-loads of trees from there, they only received one. That’s a loss of about 500 trees.

Jacobs said they’re making up for it with trees from Oregon. But his supplier there is experiencing some tree growing troubles because of a drought and record heat.

“The gentleman that we buy from, have for 15 or 20 years, he lost all of his young seedlings," Jacobs said. "So, he lost a year of his rotation. So, now he’s a year behind and he’s going to have to replant this coming spring.”

Despite that, Jacobs said they’re not really seeing a shortage of trees this year. But he also doesn’t expect to see an increase in supply.

Meanwhile, another big issue this year is the cost of getting the trees here. It's causing their price to increase a few dollars.

"Freight from Oregon and North Carolina has gone up 40 percent," Jacobs said. "And that makes a great impact on a price for the tree.”

Jacobs said the price of seedlings also jumped from eight cents to 50 cents.

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