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Christmas tree shortage impacts tree farms in Southern Minnesota

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:29 PM CST
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CLARKS GROVE, Minn. (KTTC) – At the Evergreens Tree Farm in Clarks Grove, a family of 10 has sold Christmas Trees for five years.

“I mean Christmas Trees, it seems like each year more and more people are coming back out to cut down trees, but we just don’t have the height. The typical people are looking for seven to eight-foot trees, and that’s where the shortage is. And we’ve only been here for five years so the trees we planted probably still won’t be ready for another three years. So it takes a little while to get caught back up,” farmer John Tenneson said.

Tenneson Family
Tenneson Family(KTTC)

He said most of the trees he sells are Fraser Fir.

“However, this year half of them are Bolsum, and half of them are Frazer because our supplier, they just haven’t been able to get caught back up with the demand,” Tenneson said.

He said those aren’t the only issue.

“‘Bout 800 trees we’d sell a year, so now we’re down to even 400 or 500 hundred. We only have about 200 hundred of our own trees available this year,” Tenneson said.

The trees they don’t grow are from Wolclyn Tree Farms & Nursery In Eastern Minnesota.

That farm is also impacted by the shortage.

“We’ve got phone calls from Jamaica, Bahamas, California, Texas people looking for trees. We’re growing fewer trees and have fewer trees to sell than we did a few years ago. So it’s a lot of saying no to people,” said Farmer Ben Wolcyn.

Wolcyn is also the Vice president of the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association.

He said the cause of the tree shortage is because of a drought that happened at least 10 years ago and is impacting how the trees grow.

Furthermore, he said there is another reason.

“You have all these growers that got out of the business 10 to 12 years ago,” Wolcyn said. “And the next generations not wanting to do the hard work that we have to do.”

Tenneson said he’s had to increase his prices by 20 percent to keep up overall inflation.

He also expects people to buy fast.

“This year we’re assuming we’ll be sold out pretty much opening weekend,” Tenneson said.

So that means?

“If you want a real tree just go out early and get it. a tree but if you wait until the 20th of December you might not,” Wolcyn said.

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