Agriculture, Business, Central New York

Christmas Tree Shortage in CNY

By Katie Benoit SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Many CNY Christmas tree farms open their doors right after Thanksgiving. However, this year Christmas trees are in a higher demand and there are fewer trees available.  

Trees take about eight years to mature and be at the proper height for the home. This makes it difficult for farmers to plan in advance how many trees they will need for coming seasons. Since the economy was so bad during the recession not enough trees were planted to meet the demands this year.

“Eight years ago, we did not plant enough it was kind of, the economy wasn’t in the greatest place,  so we really backed off what we planted and we are reaping the effects of that right now,” Travis Drexler,owner of Springside Farm, said.

This year about 50 trees have already been tagged by people who came early to selected a tree. This number is up from last year when there were only about 10 tagged trees.

A reason for the increase of sales the boost in the economy. With more jobs and income, people can afford to spend more during the holiday season.

“We are about at that point where enough people are spending the unemployment rate is down to 4.1 percent. We have a situation now where people are ready and able to spend and Christmas trees are that kind of item that are discretionary and if people are back in in the mood to spend their money in that way it should be a good year for the farmers,” LeMoyne economic Professor Paul Blackley, said.

The shortage of Christmas trees is a problem not just in CNY, but around the country. According to the research from the Freedonia Group, about 3,300 Christmas tree farms were open during 2016 in the US and 10 years ago there about 17,500.

Some CNY farmers are also retiring or getting out of the business making there less places to buy trees locally. Springside is planting just over 8,000 trees this year to help make sure that they are prepared for the future.

CNY Tree Farms:

Springside Farm:  Mon. – Thurs., 12 – 8; Fri. 12 – 9; Sat. 9 – 9; Sun. 9 – 8

Luchsinger’s Christmas Trees  : Mon. – 12- 6 Fri. 10-6 Sat.- Sun. 9-6

Syracuse Christmas Tree Farm: Everyday 9-7