Christmas tree shortage? Wholesalers in Nova Scotia sell out for the season
Demand for trees in the U.S. and Caribbean is driving sales
By Marina von Stackelberg, CBC News Posted: Dec 02, 2017 7:45 AM AT Last Updated: Dec 02, 2017 7:45 AM AT
Marina von Stackelberg
Marina von Stackelberg is a CBC journalist based in Halifax. She previously worked for CBC Sudbury. Connect with her on Twitter @CBCMarina. Send story ideas to marina.von. email@example.com
If you're looking to buy a few hundred Christmas trees this year, you might be out of luck.
"We're essentially sold out of wholesale Christmas trees," said Fred Eidt, who owns Gryphon Hill Farms.
This year the tree farmer from Lunenburg County, N.S., has seen a 60 per cent jump in big orders.
"Just yesterday we shipped a load to New Jersey," he said. "In the early part of the season we shipped eight loads to the Caribbean."
Eidt is a member of the Lunenburg Balsam Fir Co-operative, a group of 10 growers who work together to sell in mass quantities.
13,000 trees shipped
Two years ago, the co-op could sell 8,000 trees in bulk. This holiday season, they've already shipped 13,000.
Now they're sold out.
"Realistically, once every week or so I'm getting an inquiry looking for wholesale trees," Eidt said. "Which is pretty much our capacity we're able to produce."
The jump is mostly due to demand from the United States. A few years ago, there was a glut in the market south of the border, with too many farmers and sellers driving down prices.
"Now those trees are gone, and it seems like they're looking farther afield and it's been really good," he said.
An 'amazing year'
According to the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association, demand for Canadian trees has been increasing over the last five years.
This season in particular has been an "amazing year" for growers across the country, with many filling large orders over the summer, said Shirley Brennan, the organization's president.
"Many farmers had [bulk] orders coming in August and September," Brennan said. "We are seeing a positive."
There's also a growing interest in real trees because more people are concerned about the environmental impact of artificial ones.
You can still get a tree
Eidt said wholesale generates a good portion of his revenue each year, and allows him "to move the inventory and make room for more trees to grow."
Still, despite the demand, most local tree farmers keep part of their supply for the local market, he said.
"I'm certain you won't have any trouble getting your own tree," said Eidt. "But I would suggest [you] go early rather than wait to the last minute because you might have a problem then."Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC) Calgary News Releases
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