Ho Ho Holiday Trees Are in Danger

According to Willamette Week, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on July 13 had some… less than jolly news about this year’s Christmas tree supply. It would appear that the things tree growers across the state have been warning us about are getting worse.

Rising temperatures, dry summers, seedling shortages, droughts, and record-breaking heat waves are bad news for tree growers, and the cost to consumers? More expensive Christmas trees and a smaller supply — for more than just Oregon.

In the report, which compares holiday tree sales from 2015 to those of 2020, the USDA found that in five years, a few things happened. The total acreage growing trees fell by 24%, and the total number of trees sold fell by 27% — though that wasn’t simply the end for tree farmers. The average price for a Christmas tree nearly doubled, going from $17.90 to $30.06 per tree. Surprisingly, sales didn’t suffer — they rose by 26% to $107 million.

According to a report from Reuters, however, Oregon’s supply of Christmas trees may be in danger. With increasing temperatures and record-breaking fires thanks to climate change, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep trees alive long enough to mature.

It takes roughly eight years to grow a sale-ready noble fir or Nordmann fir — and the fires and heat waves from the past two years have severely damaged the supply of mature trees. If you’re looking to grab a Christmas tree this year — don’t wait until the last minute, or you may be disappointed.

By Ethan Hauck