The Douglas firs, Virginia pines and who doesn't love the smell of a good ole Fraser fir tree? But this year that perfect tree could cost you a few bucks.
Christmas is fast approaching and places selling real trees have popped up in Fort Myers. We've been seeing reports that there is a national Christmas tree shortage and this might be the culprit that's driving the prices up.
Apparently, this tree shortage has been a long time coming. During the recession in 2008 tree farmers noticed that their sales were declining.
The spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association, Doug Hundley, said that at that point there were a lot of trees available and since they weren't selling trees, farmers decided not to plant as many seeds.
Usually, it takes about 10 years to grow a Christmas tree from a seed to a size ready for cutting. So looking at the numbers, it’s possible we won’t have enough developed trees to sell this holiday season.
But Doug said this isn’t a national issue; it’s really just affecting two states. “Oregon and North Carolina. They had a decline in the supply of just their trees.”
Adam Hansen, the owner of A. Hansen trees, is one of the many vendors who buy Fraser firs from North Carolina. Adam said that the prices have gone up a few dollars here and there and the prices depend on the sizes but, "for the most part we’re trying to keep them at where they’re still affordable for people.”
Adam considers himself one of the lucky ones. He says he hasn’t had to pay too much more than usual. “They are tougher to get in the quality and quantity you need, but it comes down to planning at the end of the day. It’s kind of a roll of the dice,” Adam said.
Other Southwest Florida sellers are seeing a hike in prices but they are saying that there are other factors that are causing an increase in prices.
Chris Whited, owner of Russ Whited Christmas trees, said that he's noticed the price in freight has increased because of the new regulations on drivers and how often they can drive. "The freight has gone up 30-40% which of course has to get passed along to the Christmas tree purchaser,” Chris said.
We scouted tree prices in the Fort Myers area and prices ranged from as low as 75 to 300 dollars. The prices vary based on a tree’s size and type.
But if a real tree just isn’t for you, you could buy a fake tree from the store for about 100 bucks. There are also tons of other alternatives that you can find online. One crafty thing you can do is make a tree out of cardstock paper and put it up on your wall. You can even add lights to it.
But Adam and Chris say there’s nothing better than the real deal. “The look. You just can’t duplicate it with a fake tree,” said Adam.
“For those that are used to real Christmas trees, nothing will compare,” said Chris.