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Local Christmas tree farms thriving despite national tree shortage

24 November 2017

According to Square data, the closer it gets to Christmas, the less you'll end up paying for a tree. Farms in North Carolina and OR are reporting shortages.

"I call it a passion", farm owner McKenzie "Ken" Cook said. Wagoners Christmas Trees in Friendly Center are the exception - workers were busy bagging trees and putting them on cars Wednesday.

That passion is a year-round process on the farm's 197 fields, where some 8 million trees are in the ground at different stages of growth. Each tree grows for eight years, on average, and when its time comes it begins a swift and complex journey to your living room. "Their customers are more than customers, they're friends".

Star Tree Farm and the Pine Patch also sell wreaths.

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Shadle said the best-quality trees will run as much as $80 each this year.

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Actually Brentlinger and the Dahnkes do the cutting for customers after they select their flawless tree, though they do offer pre-cut trees. "When the weather gets bad, they'll drive up, roll down their window and say, 'I'll take that one'".

She said her Christmas tree farmer in North Carolina told her he simply didn't have enough of the smaller trees available to give her what she needed.

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Activity includes "spraying for bugs in March, mowing in June, trimming with a machete in July when it's 110 degrees", he said.

The Forest Service has yet to run out of Christmas trees for sale, but those interested must buy their permit from the Evanston office in person, Kirkland said, and will be limited to the remote north slope of the Uintahs for harvesting their tree.

You can't get more hipster than that really.

Maryland tree farmer Gary Thomas said he thought many tree farmers were retiring and that fewer people wanted to be tree farmers today.

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While they sell an experience as much as a tree, most tree farms strive to keep prices competitive. His tree farm is Country Christmas Trees in Wakarusa. Dahnke's prices are $7 per foot for Frazier fir and $20 to $45 for white pine and Scotch pine. Families make a tradition out of bundling up, braving the crowds, and enjoying some serious retail therapy.

However if you're looking to buy, you'll still have a fair selection, but prices have gone up.

Live trees pose a greater fire risk than artificial ones.

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Local Christmas tree farms thriving despite national tree shortage