Local Farm Prospers Amid Nationwide Christmas Tree Shortage

Posted at 9:03 PM, Nov 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-27 00:07:43-05

A local Christmas tree farm has been prospering despite a nationwide Christmas tree shortage.

On Sunday, business was popping at Country Cove Christmas Tree Farm.

"It's gotta be the right one!" Eric Near said.

The Near family searched the farm on Sunday for the perfect tree.

"I think it was a unanimous decision," Near said. "I guessed it called out to us." 

Lili and Rowan Near named their plump and fluffy tree, "Cossette."

While this family found exactly what they wanted, that may not be the case for every tree shopper according to owner Joe Steiner.

"The industry had over-planted in the late 90's and early 2000's and couldn't sell them in the recession of 2008, so a lot of farms stopped growing," Steiner said.

Steiner rescued this farm during the economic downturn.

"So we went ahead and planted as many trees as we possibly could, 6,000 a year, and tried to get caught up," Steiner said.

While other Christmas tree farms were closing their doors a decade ago, Steiner and his family were busy planting trees.

"Now we're finally caught up," Steiner said. "The trees are at least eight to nine feet tall, and there's plenty for selection."

They have an abundance of White Pines and Leyland Cypresses.

They ordered the classic Fraser Firs in May from North Carolina due to the forecasted shortage.

Some customers have been seeing a price hike at various locations due to the lack of Fraser Firs nationwide.

Workers said they bagged 450-500 Christmas trees on opening day.

“Those who have stayed in the business can grow the business five to ten percent a year since the last five years, easily," Steiner said. "Even during the recession, people were coming out to choose and cut.”