CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. – The Christmas tree season is in full swing for growers shipping them out of Oregon to destinations across the country and the world.
Oregon is the number one producer of farmed Christmas trees in the nation. This season, growers expect to harvest about 6.5 million trees, worth $100 million.
The week before Thanksgiving is their busiest time. Kirk Company, south of Oregon City, is one of the top five producers in the state. They will ship as many as 150,000 trees during the week, and a total of a half million by season’s end in mid-December.
“It’s just organized chaos and actually the next three days are probably the worst three days of shipping," said Kirk co-owner Gary Snyder Thursday. "Everybody wants their trees by Thanksgiving."
Kirk has been in the Christmas tree business for more than 30 years. His son Matt has been helping run operations and manage 100 seasonal workers this time of year.
Everyone is working hard to deliver one of Oregon’s agricultural specialties, in an increasingly demanding marketplace.
“It’s not anymore, 'Just throw whatever you got on a truck,'" Kirk said. "We’re putting a lot more attention into what we’re shipping out to customers.”