KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – East Tennessee is not immune to the effects of a nationwide Christmas tree shortage, which is driving up costs and potentially endangering future years’ supply.
Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm owner Leo Collins told the Knoxville News Sentinel that this year’s shortage largely stems from a tree surplus more than a decade ago. The East Tennessee farmer says that surplus depressed tree prices, which, combined with the Great Recession a few years later, pushed Christmas tree growers out of the market.
Collins says wildfires that burned across six southern states in 2016 also impacted the tree and seedling supply. He says the shortages have resulted in customers purchasing his stock of shorter trees, which could wipe out his potential supply of the bestselling 8-foot (2.4-meter) trees for 2018.
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