pandemic challenges

Christmas Tree Shortage Comes to Connecticut

Some farms say they're down nearly 300 trees and could be running out as early as mid-December.

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This season, folks are looking for an extra bit of magic and holiday cheer in their homes and it has skyrocketed the demands for real live Christmas trees. 

Russell Trent, the owner of Mark’s Christmas Tree Farms, has a message for families going into the holiday season.

"If you like a tree, get out here in the next week or so," he said.

Trent said the holiday staple is going faster than ever before as the inventory has changed.

"We're down about two to three hundred trees compared to what we normally have for inventory and that’s a big number," Trent said.

Dozens of trees located on site at Mark's Christmas Tree Farms.

Trent believes the pandemic has contributed to the short supply, as the demand for real Christmas trees and families looking to get out and enjoy outdoor activities is at an all-time high, but it isn’t the only factor.

"A lot of the problems associated with climate change associated with insect damage associated with drought have affected the tress up and down the east coast," said Trent.

"Normally we have trees up until Christmas Eve and it’s never been a problem before but this year we’re anticipating we’ll probably run out around the middle of December," said Trent.

The Connecticut Christmas Tree Association said there isn't much that farms can do to prepare for the high demand in trees.

"Farmers have to plan five years in advance for what’s going to be available and sale-able," said Karen Kogut, executive director for the Connecticut Christmas Tree Association.

"When you have only X amount of trees to sale, once you run out, you can’t cut into next year's crop because then you’ll be short," said Kogut.

Kogut said families shouldn’t be totally alarmed - they may just have to have a little change of plans this holiday season.

"You know the bigger farms do have trees and they don’t sell out and if so, if you don’t go to your usual farm, you can go to a bigger farm and they will help," said Kogut.

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