TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Christmas tree farmers are pining for years past when the weather didn’t have such a negative effect on their product.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), there is a tighter supply of trees across the nation and many farms were unable to grow enough trees to their required size.
The NCTA assured shoppers that plenty of trees would be available for the season, but due to the reduced numbers and strain on the farms, some areas can expect to see a slight increase in pricing.
Fulton Farms in Troy, Ohio is one business that has made several adjustments to their schedule in order to adjust to a slightly limited supply of trees this year.
Fulton Farms Vice President Jim Fulton said they normally sell around 1,200 trees each year, but this year, they were forced to stop at 1,000. They have also decided to end their sales on December 15 of this year to help from cutting too deeply into their stock of trees.
“If we sell too many, we’re cutting into our lower stock, which means next year the trees will get smaller and smaller,” Fulton said.
The NCTA and others have reported that rapidly changing weather patterns have played a role in various seasonal products being impacted.
Officials at Fulton Farms agree the weather has made farming the trees more of a struggle.
“I’d say the weather plays a large part of it,” said Fulton. “We went from excessive water to excessive drought. That puts a lot of stress on growth but also on the potential needle retention after they’re cut down.”
“I think the other growers are running into the same problems as well.”
Fulton Farms will not be increasing the prices of their Christmas trees and have no intention of raising them in the near future. Officials said they would try to find other methods — such as adjusting their hours — before raising prices.
Other shops in the Dayton area admitted they had struggled with stocking and that they would be selling less than in previous years. Many were holding off raising their prices this year but are not able to rule it out for future seasons.
Only one store — which wished to remain anonymous — said its prices would be slightly increasing. Employees said it was to keep up with additional labor costs and was not caused by tree shortages.
Most area stores and farms, including Fulton Farms, begin sales on Friday, November 29, the day after Thanksgiving.
Farmers and officials also urge customers to shop for trees as early as possible if they want the best selection and variety of trees. Supplies are limited based on each location.