Christmas tree shortage hits this holiday season

There will be a shortage of Christmas trees in the Northwest this year

PORTLAND, Ore. — Now that we're through Thanksgiving, for many it's time to start getting ready for Christmas.

But if your next stop is picking up a Christmas tree, you might have a harder time even finding one this year.

At the Historic Kirchem Farm, there are fewer trees this year than usual.

“We didn't realize it was gonna be this short,” said Reg Tollefson, who has helped run the farm for the last 25 years or so.

He said Christmas trees are in low supply this year.

Tollefson said years ago there were fewer seeds, and because trees take years to grow it means fewer trees.

“Then we've had some hot years that were really rough on some of the crops,” said Tollefson.

It's not just farmers feeling it. 

Billy Diss has run a tree lot for about 10 years near downtown Portland, but this year it’s empty.

“We weren't able to sell trees this year. Mostly we can't sell something we don't have," Diss said.

Low supply has meant he just can't operate this year.

“I found maybe 30-100 trees and last year we sold 1,000 Christmas trees,” Diss said.

A spokesperson from the Oregon Department of Agriculture also said for years there was too much supply. Prices plummeted and many farmers got out of the Christmas tree business.

Still, many families are on the hunt for a Christmas tree.

Tollefson said you can definitely find one, so long as you're flexible.

“If you're kind of open, you're kind of OK,” he said.

Tollefson said it might be harder to get a tree that's 6, 7, or 8 feet tall because they’re in high demand.

He said if you're looking for a really nice tree, you may be paying more for it this year. Tollefson said last year a nice 8-footer went for $40 or $50 and this year it’s about $80.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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