BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There's a nationwide Christmas tree shortage, and it's impacting retailers here in Alabama.
North Carolina is the second largest Christmas tree producer in the U.S. Christmas Tree farmers in North Carolina say that this shortage is only going to be worse next year and it is going to last about 7 years. So, if you have not gotten your Christmas tree for this season, you probably want to go now.
Several stores get their Christmas trees from North Carolina. Jimmy Wells is the Assistant Manager of Chambers Farm and Garden and he says they have not gotten near the amount they normally do for the season. "We got one small load to get them in on time and went back to get more and found out this morning that there were no more available," he explains.
This is a problem a lot of places that sell real trees are running into and it's thanks to the nationwide shortage. We spoke with Chipper Jones who is the owner and farmer for Frosty Mountain Christmas Trees in North Carolina and he says what is being harvested now was planted 12 years ago and because of the recession, not many were planted. "The economy was not doing well and people didn't buy as many Christmas trees like they didn't buy many other things so farmers stopped planting them," he explains.
Then there was a plant shortage at the same time on top of that so for multiple years less trees were planted and now we are seeing the impact. "It will be worse next year. People are trying really hard to meet the supply of demand so they are cutting more trees than they normally would and they are not saving many for next year," Jones says.
Some stores say they usually have trees left over after Christmas and that people will buy trees all the way up until the week of Christmas. This year, they will not be able to get a tree last minute.
"At this point, we are down to 15 trees left and normally we would have well over 100 left," Wells states. And most all of the places that we spoke with say if they do still have trees, they are very limited in those sizes.