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Christmas tree shortage hitting C.O. lots

Prices on Oregon-grown trees have risen slightly this year

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In recent years, Oregon has struggled with a Christmas tree shortage. According to some tree lot owners, that can be attributed to the recession in 2008.

Christmas trees like the Douglas and Noble fir can take 10 years to fully grow into a quality tree. Trees that would normally be on lots in Central Oregon were never planted to begin with. That’s because once the recession hit, many farmers switched over to more profitable crops.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it in the 30 years, as far as the supply of trees goes and the pricing going up, especially on the big trees," Tom Coburn, owner of Tom’s Trees in Bend, said Tuesday.

Despite the price hike, Coburn said he expects to sell most of his trees before Christmas arrives.

A popular alternative to buying a tree from a tree lot is the Deschutes National Forest Service’s Christmas tree permit, that only costs $5. Central Oregonians can purchase the permit and cut down a tree of their own on forest land, much as is offered on several Oregon national forest.

According to the Deschutes National Forest they sell the most Christmas tree permits in the Pacific Northwest. This year, they have sold 1,000 and counting.

Chris Marrone, who has been selling trees for 10 years in Central Oregon, said the experience can be great, but finding a tree can be a challenge.

“It is harder and harder to find a somewhat cultured Christmas tree up in the hills,” Marrone said.  “Because of the elements, and how far you have to go -- and then trying to find that tree. Usually you end up coming home with one that is not quite to your liking.”

Whether you plan on picking up a tree with a permit through the Forest Service or a buying a tree from a lot, you might not want to act fast, as the season is coming to a close.

Bend / Central Oregon / News

Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

Comments

4 Comments

  1. I knew that trees were going to be more this year but I about had a stroke when
    we went and got our tree a couple days ago…
    We have bought from the same place for quite a few years, and the same tree we
    bought last year was almost double this year.

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