Photo (cc) by Soil Science @ NC State
The holiday season’s typically high demand for natural Christmas trees is being met with a smaller inventory this year.
An oversupply during the past decade has led to a reduced crop at tree farms while demand remains high, MarketWatch reports.
As a result, prices are expected to rise and some retailers are worried the supply might run out later in the season.
Jeff Owen, a forestry extension specialist at North Carolina State University with expertise in Christmas trees, tells MarketWatch that while retailers have been able to meet demand so far this season and expect to continue to do so, last-minute orders and pop-up lots might be harder to come by.
He advises shoppers to buy trees now, even if they don’t plan to display them until later. Early purchasers should store trees in a shady area and water them in the meantime.
The reason for the supply shortage can be traced to the 2008-2009 recession, when tree farmers began to see an oversupply and some turned to different crops. Owen tells MarketWatch that during the 2009-2011 holiday seasons:
“They weren’t able to sell the inventory they had, so they were stockpiling and not making room for new trees.”
Since Christmas trees take about six to 10 years to grow, the pared-back planting of previous years had the delayed effect of fewer trees to harvest now.
Whether you plan to buy a natural or artificial Christmas tree this year, check out “Everything You Need to Know About Christmas Trees.”
Do you make a tree part of your holiday season? Let us know what kind and why — leave a comment below or on Facebook.