Christmas trees are festive but can be fire hazards

Pete Burd

They started selling Christmas trees in 1984.

Owner of White's Christmas Trees Bob White said that's not the case in Essex Junction and the trees look great this year.

"We know how people have been trying their best to plant back trees for the last six or seven years, so we're expecting a whole new crop of small trees coming up", he said.

But that doesn't mean local Christmas tree buyers will be sheltered from the shortage, which experts say is a outcome of the Great Recession and could lead to increased prices across the country.

The Tuesday morning report was dire: America faces a nationwide Christmas trees shortage.

"Wholesale prices from the Pacific Northwest have gone up 50 percent", Coan said.

One Christmas tree farm in Shafter is having to do things differently this year.




Some local tree farms are running out fast. While Americans have been buying real Christmas trees for around 75 years, Hundley said, the artificial tree industry has taken off in the last 25 years or so.

Trees are most expensive in California ($76) and the least expensive in North Dakota ($27), though the data does not distinguish cities from more rural areas, where trees may be cheaper.

"The clock on perishability starts when the tree is inside the home".

"Prices are definitely up", Zellner said. The couple sold "choose and cut" trees for the past 30 years, and precut trees for the past 20 years.

"If there were no Christmas trees, where would Santa put your presents?" Poe said in three to five years, the farm should be back in the more normal range. "We have a fire going in the gift shop", Collins said.

On Black Friday, dozens went out to Wyffels Tree Farm to shop around for a Christmas Tree. "Christmas tree farmers are pretty much oldtimers". In East Tennessee you don't have to go to far to find that flawless tree, to cut it down and bring it home.

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