Some Delmarva Farmers Experience Christmas Tree Shortage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Some Delmarva Farmers Experience Christmas Tree Shortage

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DELMARVA- We all know Christmas trees are a staple of the holidays, but you may not know how difficult it has become for many tree farmers in recent years.

Some farmers, like Bruce Nichols who owns Nichols tree farm in Hebron, Md., says his farm is experiencing a shortage this year, and did last year as well.

Nichols says due to flood conditions, this year he's lost almost 6,000 Christmas trees.

This trend is not only happening to some farmers here on Delmarva, but this trend is being seen nationwide too.

Some farmers cite the recession of 2008 as a reason for the shortage we are seeing now, as it takes ten years or more for Christmas trees to reach full maturation, and less trees were planted then which affects us now. 

Other farmers, like Don Halloway of Greenwood, Del., believe tree farmers are simply retiring, which is also contributing to the shortage.

"People are getting out of the business," he said. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."

Many other farmers cite the unwillingness of younger farmers not wanting to do some of the manual labor associated with tree farming. 

Though there are many reasons that could play a role in the shortage, some say artificial tree sales have always been a concern, and continue to make it a competitive industry. 

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, 32.8 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2018. This is an increase of nearly 20 percent in 2017.

But artificial trees are also on the climb. These same stats show 23.6 million new fake trees were purchased in 2018, an increase of 12 percent compared to 2017. 


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