A sluggish economic climate, low wholesale prices and less consumer demand all spell trouble for Christmas tree farms across Oregon. In 2008, 7.34 million trees were sold in Oregon, propelling a $110 billion industry and the No. 1 producer of Christmas trees in the U.S. That number is expected to shrink to 5 million by next year as many farmers have abandoned the business due to a challenging market and surplus of trees.
In early 2000 many farmers were lured by the high prices of trees and gave up on other crops to invest in Christmas trees. It takes 5-10 years for trees to mature for sale and many trees that were planted during the boom are now up against the frugal consumer and Oregon’s recession. Simply put, there are just too many trees and not enough demand. High supply and low demand are forcing some farmers to sell their trees for less than it cost to produce them. This will likely mean lower prices for Christmas trees this year. For the farmers, it means they may have to cut and burn trees.Read the full article and discuss it »