Triad farms grapple with Christmas tree shortage

Piedmont Triad News

(WGHP) — Now’s the time to start making your plans to buy that perfect Christmas tree. That’s the message from tree lot owners and tree farm growers in the Triad area.

As some lot owners have made the decision to temporarily close in the thick of the national Christmas tree shortage, others say they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Once you get your tree seedlings, you take them and put them in gallon pots and they go from the gallon pot to the three-gallon pot, then they go into the ground,” said Beverly Spillman, of Spillman’s Christmas Tree Farm.

That’s just the starting point for planting the perfect Christmas tree.

“You’ve got to invest nine to 10 years on that tree to get a six-footer. You’ve got to,” Spillman said.

That’s why the ongoing national Christmas trees shortage is something we’ve been hearing about over the past few holiday seasons.

“We were just starting to recover from that when this year we’ve had the drought and wildfires on the west coast,” said Kevin Gray, owner, at Hickory Creek Farm in Randleman.

Hickory Creek Farm opens this Saturday.

Gray said people started calling them weeks ago to ensure they’d have enough trees.

“I anticipate being closed to sold out in three weekends this year,” Gray said.

He said demand has been growing for live trees.

The good news is farmers are hopeful we’ve reached the peak of the shortage

“It’s really really hard, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Spillman said.

That light is looking dim for folks in Randleman at Hogan’s Family Christmas Tree Lot this year.

“We can’t even get the first tree to set up anything,” owner Russell Hogan said.

Hogan took to Facebook over the weekend announcing the lot wouldn’t be open for business this season because they couldn’t get any trees from their supplier in Sparta.

“We waited as long as we could,” Hogan said. “With no good news coming we just decided to let the families know they needed to make plans elsewhere.”

Over at Wagoner Tree Farm Lot on New Garden Road in Greensboro, they plan on having a shortened selling season predicting sales to wrap up by the first week of December.

When it comes to wholesale trees, they anticipate only selling one to two truckloads rather than their typical five to 10 loads.

Spillman is hopeful they’ll make sales happen through Dec. 22.

But all lot owners are urging you to have a plan to grab your tree soon as most open on Black Friday — which is next week.

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