RICHMOND—Virginia Christmas tree growers are preparing for a robust season, but some worry there may not be enough supply to meet the demand.
“We’re selling trees faster than we can grow them,” said John Carroll, vice president of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association.
Carroll said the fact that Thanksgiving fell later in November this year is creating a short supply. He said most customers buy their trees over the Thanksgiving weekend or the week after, and that’s when most choose-and cut-growers open.
With fewer days to buy and a strong demand for fresh Christmas trees, Carroll anticipates growers coming up short. “Choose-and-cut farms may close early if their supplies run out,” he noted.
David Hubbuch, who operates Blue Ridge Tree and Berry Farm in Shenandoah County, isn’t concerned about his tree supply. He said the weather has been ideal for his choose-and-cut farm, and he expects to have enough trees for the season. “We actually have a good selection.”
That’s not always the case, because Northern Virginia tree farmers grow trees that are not native to the area. “Most of the Christmas trees, firs, spruces and pines are natural to mountainous areas, so it’s always a challenge to find the right varieties that are going to adapt to this climate and this type of soil,” Hubbuch said.
No matter where they’re grown in the state, Carroll predicts strong Christmas tree sales this season.
“The wholesale market is good for the producers,” Carroll maintained. “Supply is tight, the crop looks good, and the good cold weather came in time to provide the seal beneath the needles.”