Christmas tree prices could be slightly higher this year

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Christmas carols and chainsaws are music to a tree farmer’s ears.

Those sounds could mean big business for workers trimming pre-cut Christmas trees for customers. It’s a better harmony than last year’s sound of poor sales.

“There is going to be a shortage for Christmas trees for the next four to five years, and then everything should start bouncing back after that,” explained Joshua Stetson of Howell Brothers Farm in Spartan.

Nationwide, the coniferous tree farmers haven’t yielded a good harvest, and that could impact the consumer’s wallet.

“Sadly, the trees are going to raise (in price) a little bit more because there is a high demand and low supply,” Stetson said.

The trees most customers grabbed at the North Carolina Farmers Market, Sunday ranged in price from $55 to $80. The farmers say they have plenty of trees for sale, but that isn’t the case in other parts of the state.

“The thing is they harvested a lot last year because they were worried they weren’t going to be able to get the trees this year, so they cut themselves short,” detailed Allen Cole with the Cole’s Farm out of Lansing.

The Party Rock wildfire from November 2016 prompted this issue and it’s the reason North Carolina Christmas trees will get more expensive in coming years.

The Cole’s Farm avoided a major impact, but now, the farmers are thinking about what customers will find the next time they shop with them.

Asked if he was concerned about the long-term effects, Cole answered, “Slightly. Yeah, I’m a little concerned. I try to do a good crop rotation, as far as keeping the trees planted as I harvest. It put a little hiccup, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. We can put our heads together and figure something out.”

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