Nationwide Christmas tree shortage not affecting local lots

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Even though tree growers around the country are struggling to keep up with the demand for Christmas trees this year, local nursery owners in Colorado Springs say they haven’t been affected by the shortage.

Some states are reporting Christmas tree shortages because growers planted fewer trees or none at all during the 2008 recession.

In Colorado, nursery owners say they haven’t been affected because they either get their trees from forests around the state or have been working with growers since the summer to make sure they have enough for local families.

“We order our trees around July, so we’re really trying to get in on the inventory that is available,” said Julie McIntyre, Summerlands Garden owner. “Fortunately, our grower is in Michigan, and he’s really good about letting us know the trends, and ‘You guys better get your orders in if you want to have enough trees this year.’ We personally haven’t experienced a lot of that, but I have heard it’s been a problem elsewhere if people weren’t on the ball.”

Harding Nursery and Heidrich’s Colorado Tree Farm Nursery also said they haven’t been affected by the shortage.

“We have a huge selection, so we really try not to run out, but we try to have very few come Christmas,” said Sharon Harding-Shaw, president of Harding Nursery.

Even though there’s no tree shortage in Colorado, families should still plan to get their tree soon if they haven’t already. Heidrich’s said it sold out of trees about two weeks after Black Friday. Other lots say they’ve already sold through more than half of their trees.

“I think this year we’ll probably sell out before Christmas,” McIntyre said. “We have a longer period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so people started earlier. So if you’re interested in getting a live tree this year, it’s better to buy early than late.”

Price wise, McIntyre said her tree prices have stayed the same for the past two years. Both Harding Nursery and Heidrich’s said their prices increased a little, between $2-$10 depending on the type of tree.

“Trees are an agricultural commodity, so just as everything else in the world goes up, so do Christmas trees,” Harding-Shaw said.

For the lots that haven’t already sold out, others say their trees are usually gone about a week before Christmas.

“It is an educated guess when you buy in your Christmas trees,” Harding-Shaw said. “We have run out before. This is a year I suppose we could run out. We’ve also had some left over, so we try to make it as close to running out as possible.”