Christmas tree prices at local farms likely not affected by national shortage: Essex tree farmer

Local News

Many Christmas tree farms open for the season on Black Friday each year, but prices in our region may be affected by the shortage of fully-grown trees that several national media outlets have reported recently. The shortage has been cited in high-volume tree-producing states like Oregon, Michigan and North Carolina.

Elizabeth Morris of Burlington and her fiancée drove away from White’s Tree Farm in Essex with a balsam fir on Friday. “I’m very excited,” she said. “I’m trying to convince my fiancee to get a second mini-tree, but he’s not budging right now, so we’ll see!”

Balsam firs are plentiful in our region, according to White’s Tree Farm owner Bob White. “A lot of those are getting shipped all over the country now,” he said. “We didn’t used to ship trees to California and Florida. There’s a lot of farms in this area that are shipping all over the place like that now.”

With Thanksgiving falling later in November than usual, this year’s tree-buying season is off to a near-perfect start for White. He said the tree shortage is affecting prices throughout the country, including our area. However, he added that buying directly from a tree farm is likely the best way to avoid sticker shock.

“The demand is high, and a number of years ago, the demand wasn’t so high, so people stopped planting trees for a few years, so right now there’s not as many trees on the market — the wholesale market,” he said. “The price is getting more expensive. On the retail market, the price isn’t going to change much, if anything at all.”

Morris’s fiancée might not like the idea, but if she gets her way, her tree will stay up into the New Year. “Probably significantly after Christmas,” she said. “As long as he’ll let me have it up.”

White said any tree freshly cut down now should hold up through the holiday season without a problem as long as it’s watered regularly and it’s not kept in a very hot room.

Many tree farms in our region and elsewhere that didn’t open for the season on Black Friday are opening on Saturday instead.

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