Is there a Christmas tree shortage?

Local News
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MT. ZION, Ill. (WCIA) — Rumors have been swirling there’s a Christmas tree shortage. But, one group says you can’t always believe what you hear.

For holiday lovers, the season wouldn’t be the same without a little Christmas spirit.

“I just always come to this place to get my greenery.”

Rumor has it one type of greenery is on the decline: Christmas trees. Ron Evans is president of 4 E’s Trees. He says he isn’t experiencing what he’s hearing.

“All in all, we’re off to a good start. Normally, Black Friday is our big day and it was again this year.”

It turns out, Evans is not alone. The seasonal spokesperson for the National Christmas Tree Association says there isn’t a tree shortage at all.

About a decade ago, there were too many trees; so much so they had to be thrown away at the end of the holidays. But, when the recession hit, fewer trees were planted meaning fewer trees on farms and a more well-balanced supply-to-demand.

But, the NCTA says fewer farmers are in the business, likely because it’s not always profitable.

“Five years ago, I think, there were thirteen tree farms in Macon County and there’s not but maybe one or two left now.”

Evans says a problem he and others in Central Illinois are experiencing is a fungus growing on Scotch pines, making them unsellable.

“The Scotch pines because of the diseases we’ve been fighting and they are just extremely hard to control.”

Despite those issues, 4 E’s Trees has been able to keep prices relatively stable over the years. Customers say the stability is part of what keeps them coming back, even while visiting home from out of state.

“It’s hometown and I know I can rely on the product that I get as well as the services they provide.”

A spokesperson fo the NCTA says tree prices may go up this year but not because of an excess. Farmers can charge more and sell them.

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