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Buy Your Christmas Tree Early: There's A Shortage In The Northwest

Tom Norby
Northwest Christmas trees will be in short supply this year.

While you're focused on getting that last-minute costume and candy ready, Northwest tree farmers are sharpening their blades to cut and bale your Christmas tree.

But be warned: you might not get that noble fir of your dreams this year due to a Christmas tree crunch in the Northwest.

It takes about seven to eight years to grow a good tree. And back then there was the double whammy of a nationwide recession and a glut of trees. So a lot of tree growers got out of the game and not many trees many were planted.

And now we’ve flipped into a shortage.

The upshot is that you can still get a tree this year—if you get one early. But you’ll likely have to pay more.

Tom Norby grows trees near Gresham, Oregon. He said it’s nice to make some money for a change, but he doesn’t want to charge too much. ??

“I am concerned about scaring away consumers toward real trees and going toward plastic trees,” Norby said. “Some growers don’t seem to be as worried about that. And they’re charging whatever they can in order to sell their trees, and that’s capitalism for you.”

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.