Christmas trees in short supply this year after damaging extreme summer heat

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    SILVERTON, Oregon (KPTV) — The rain we’re having is welcome weather for Christmas tree farmers, hoping more of their trees can recover from the damaging summer heat.

But that recovery could take time, and this Christmas, trees will be in shorter supply.

Chuck White of White Christmas Tree Farm and Nursery in Silverton says about 30-40% of their trees might be too burnt to sell this year, unless customers are flexible.

“If they’ve gotta spot where they can turn the brown spot into the corner kind of thing, it might work for them,” White said.

In some of the trees, the burnt parts can be clipped out and still be ready to sell.

Others will take a while to recover and have new buds that will sprout next spring, causing the dead needles to fall off.

Rod Horner of Yesteryear Tree Farm gets his trees from growers across the area and sells about two or three thousand on his lot. He reserved those trees this past spring, only to find out later, a lot of them suffered too much damage.

“It’s touch and go,” he said. “So we have about half the trees that we originally were gonna have at this point.”

Between that, fuel prices and labor shortages, he said costs will go up compared to what people are used to.

“On average 10 to 12 bucks a foot right, we’ve done’em less, we’ve done’em for a lot more, depends on the tree,” Horner said. “They’re probably gonna be 12, 14, 16 a foot depending on what people get.”

Their advice is buy early and be patient, and there will be trees for everyone.

Yesteryear Tree Farm opens just before Thanksgiving.

White Christmas Tree Farm opens just after Thanksgiving.

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