Local Christmas tree growers say trees are hard to come by this year as sellers say natural disasters and years of consecutive shortages are taking a toll yet again. They said these trees could be a thing of the past within the next ten years.
Bill Jacobs has been growing Christmas trees at the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm for 40 years. He says when it comes down to it, his job is about providing Christmas spirit for the community
“People want to go back to things that make them comfortable,” Jacobs said. “The family, home, fireplace, the real Christmas tree is part of that experience.”
Every year the Owasso Tree and Berry Farm sees thousands of trees for sale, many of which are grown right here in Owasso, but others are hauled in from across the country.
“We are limited as to what we can grow in Oklahoma,” Jacobs said. “We can only grow Virginia Pine, Carolina Sapphire, and Leland Cyprus. All the short needle fir trees have to come from North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington.”
He tells us over the past few years the trees have been much harder to get. He said right now finding a tree over ten feet is almost impossible and within the next couple of years, it may be hard finding any trees at all.
“It will keep getting worse and here is the reason, last summer there was 115 degrees in Oregon and then they had a drought,” Jacobs said. He tells us among the shortages, the shipping costs are making it even harder to get a tree down to Oklahoma.
“The thing that concerns me is freight went up 40% from last year,” Jacobs said. “The word is out it may never eliminate the shortage, the gentlemen we buy from lost about 80% of the trees he planted this spring so now he has to go back and replant those plus what he sells this year so now he is another year behind.”
Jacobs tells us many farmers have gotten out of the business just to stay afloat. He said farmers are now planting hops, grapes, and hazelnuts instead that do better in harsher environments.
He said they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon because they love providing the Christmas cheer for people far and near.
Jacobs tells us they do tend to sell out of their medium and large trees quickly, so now is the time to snag your tree while you can.