Christmas tree shortage to affect wholesale buyers

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Christmas tree farms in central Wisconsin may not have enough trees to go around this holiday season. That will particularly affect those that are looking to buy in bulk.

The shortage comes from the influx of buyers many farm owners saw throughout the pandemic last year, according to Country Mission Farm Owner Regan Pourchot.

“With COVID and everything going on, coming back to the family traditions,” Pourchot explained, “And people wanting to start earlier, last year, we saw them going more quickly and we’ve experienced a big demand for trees.”

According to Pourchot, many families began their holiday season earlier than normal last year.

Another contributing factor is the amount of trees still in the growing phase.

“Frasers, Balsams and Fraser X are the most popular trees,” Pourchot explained. “They take about 10-12 years really to reach maturity.”

Experts believe most farmers who planted new trees a decade ago did not plant enough.

“There was kind of an over supply of trees at that time and some people said, ‘ah, I’m not going to plant that many again,’” said Central Wisconsin Evergreens Field Manager, Dean Lemke.

Lemke and Pourchot both agreed families looking to buy single, choose and cut trees should not be affected this year. But wholesale customers are already scrambling as the holiday season approaches.

“Unlike any other years, I can’t remember a year where we’ve had so many calls from wholesalers wanting to buy trees from us,” Pourchot said.

When it comes to when to buy a tree, Pourchot said buyers should consider the health of the tree while its in the care of the customer.

“Trees naturally will dry out if you put them up too early,” Pourchot explained. “I encourage people to wait until Thanksgiving. You won’t have problems finding a tree and I think you’ll have a great start to the season.”

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