YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Rockefeller Center is getting ready to light the big tree Wednesday evening. But what about the tree in your home?
With rumblings of a Christmas tree shortage, many are left wondering whether there are enough trees for everyone this holiday season.
Drone Force 2 flew over rows of Christmas trees at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights, New York, where families from all over seized the moment and searched for the perfect specimen to take home.
It was all smiles in Westchester County, but that might not be the case everywhere. CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock asked an expert on the matter if rumors of a possible tree shortage were true.
“Unfortunately, consumers are getting a little bit misguided,” Marsha Gray from the National Christmas Tree Association said. The term shortage, Gray says, simply means fewer trees have been sent to into the market because there were fewer to harvest.
Trees have an eight to ten year growing cycle, and that matters.
“When you look back eight, nine, ten years ago, we were in a recession,” Gray said. There were a lot of trees, but we weren’t earning a lot for the trees.”
Growers planted fewer trees back then, hence the perceived shortage now.
Gray says the bottom line for consumers is that there are plenty of trees. However, if you’re particular about the size or type of tree, you’re going to want to shop early.
“You have to know how tall the ceiling is,” Wilkins Operations Manager Randy Pratt said. “They get out there, oh it’s so beautiful, but it’s a ten-foot tree.”
Make sure to slide your hand along the branch. If you don’t get any needles, it’s a fresh tree. If you get a handful, keep on looking. When you get home make sure to put a fresh cut on the trunk, and make sure to water it regularly. If you’re lucky, that tree might just last you until Valentine’s Day.
Gray adds that because the industry shortage is a real thing, wholesale prices are up. However, consumers should only expect to pay a small percentage more than last year. If someone’s trying to charge 20 to 30 percent more, look elsewhere.