Local nursery sees drop in tree sales, blames pandemic

For most, the Christmas tree is a symbolic tradition for the holiday season. However, one nursery said their tree sales slightly declined this year.

Zane Wood, the landscape manager at Wood’s Nursery in Richland, said he thinks a mix of the pandemic and higher prices contributed to the 10-percent decrease.

“Kids aren’t coming, flying into town and so forth so some people probably were just a little bit more deterred from coming out,” Wood said.

An eight-foot Noble Fir goes for about $110 dollars at the nursery but Wood said the average price was around $60 dollars.

“Prices have gone up exponentially on the trees as well. I think the biggest change was the fires and the number of people that aren’t growing them as much has really created a shortage,” Wood said.

He added that with the shortage, people are coming from all around, including one man from Othello to secure their tree.

With COVID-19, Wood also had to change the nursery’s business model, adding in options like a curbside pickup.

“If you’re a little bit hesitant about coming in and actually messing around with the public and so forth we will do cellphone pictures and send them to you,” Wood said.

For the last-minute holiday rush, Wood said some tree prices will be marked down.

The rest of the trees that don’t get sold will be donated to organizations like Goodwill in the community.