Christmas tree prices spiking statewide amid holiday shortage – Orange County Register

As families pile into the car this weekend and head out to pick the perfect Christmas tree, they better brace themselves for sticker shock.

Christmas tree prices have spiked this year, in part because of a tree shortage that has its roots in the Great Recession. The recent spate of hurricanes — even Christmas tree farmers pivoting to pot — are other factors driving up prices.

For several years beginning in 2007, cash-strapped families bought fewer trees, meaning Christmas tree farmers brought in less revenue and planted fewer trees. The number of growers in the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association dropped from 524 members in 2009 to 275 members this year.

And since Christmas trees grow about a foot a year, the smaller crop of recession-era trees are just now hitting tree lots throughout the state.

“It is truly a shortage,” said Shelly Holloway, whose family runs Honey Bear Trees in San Mateo and Redwood City.

Honey Bear usually gets its trees from Oregon and Washington, but this year it was forced to look as far away as Wisconsin.

“It’s definitely more difficult to get the Noble firs, and it has raised the wholesale price for us,” she said.

All 50 states grow Christmas trees, but Oregon is the top producer. And,…

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