© 2024 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Chad Daybell's murder trial has begun. Follow along here.

What Now, Charlie Brown? Idaho Shops Prepare For Christmas Tree Shortage

Andrew Harnik
AP Images
The 2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree arrives to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, from the Payette National Forest in Idaho.
Credit North End Organic Nurservy / via Facebook
via Facebook

It might not be Halloween yet, but according to the Idaho Statesman – it’s probably time to make your Christmas tree plans.

That’s because of a shortage some retailers are reporting. The North End Organic Nursery wrote to customers on Facebook earlier this month that prices are likely to be higher this winter, and that they should consider ordering their greenery now.

The Statesman reports that at least one Oregon tree farm is feeling the squeeze.

“ 'This year we’re getting 10 to 20 times the normal inquiries [from retail sellers],' said Casey Grogan, production manager of his family farm, Silver Bells Christmas Tree Farm in the western Oregon town of Silverton, near Salem...The Pacific Northwest is the largest Christmas tree growing region in the country. In 2016, Oregon produced 5.2 million trees; Washington produced 1.5 million. Other top growing states: North Carolina (3.5 million), Michigan (2.3 million) and Pennsylvania (2.3 million)." - Idaho Statesman

It seems like there are a few factors contributing to the shortage. For starters, the Great Recession put some farms in the Northwest out of business, and so 10 years later the number of seedlings ready to be harvested is down. The Statesman points to drought and wildfires – as well as an influx of fake Christmas trees – as other causes.

But despite the higher demand this year, retailers are wary of jacking up prices too high, for fear that it will drive people to buy fake trees instead.

Now what would Charlie Brown say about that?


Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.