Local Christmas tree farms feeling effects of shortage

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Around the country, tree growers are facing a shortage of Christmas trees.

The reason behind the low supply varies, but for many, it stems from the 2008 recession which shut down a number of tree farms.

Now, over ten years later, farmers are trying to play catch up as demand increases.

Now it’s a game of patience as it can take some trees a decade to reach a traditional Christmas tree height, around six feet.

In East Texas, Plantation Pines is a tree farm that operates in the Tyler area.

They’re currently dealing with a slight shortage, but say the reason is behind ownership changes rather than factors that have affected national sellers.

“My parents decided to retire and stopped planting so many trees,” said Heather Reed, owner of Plantation Pines. “My husband and I decided to take it over, so now we’re in the process of replenishing the farm.”

A few Christmas tree farms in the area have closed over the past few years, while a non-local group sets up their tent annually on loop 323.

“It’s unfortunately not something we can turn around in a year or a couple of years you know it takes that investment,” Reed said. “I also know there are a couple of tree farms in the area that aren’t open for business anymore, and I think a lot of that is older tree farmers are not wanting to do that anymore and their families aren’t wanting to continue that tradition.”

As older families are unable to maintain large acres of farms, fewer Christmas trees could be available in the area unless younger generations like Heather and her husband take over the business.

The Reeds say weather hasn’t been too big of an issue for growing trees due to their hardy nature, but are just happy to offer an area where East Texans can create holiday memories with their family.

“Some people come here and don’t even buy a tree,” Heather said. “They just like to walk around the farm and drink hot cocoa. We love to be able to offer our space to the community.”

Plantation Pines is on County Road 429 near the Blueberry Farm but has just closed trees cuts for the season. They hope to open longer in the coming years but encourage those wishing to cut down trees to come soon after Thanksgiving.

While they do not allow cutting trees anymore, they offer precut fir trees and encourage the public to come enjoy a day on the farm with games, a fire, hot chocolate, and a gift shop.

More information can be found on their website.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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