BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Across the country, Christmas tree farmers are facing a shortage. It’s been going on for the past few years.
When the recession hit in 2008, farmers planted fewer trees to save money. It takes a tree about 10 years to reach its full height, which is why now, a decade later, we are seeing the impacts of the economic downturn.
Joshua Stewart owns and operates Poppy’s Christmas Trees. The business has been in the Birmingham area for over 30 years. He explains why it took so long for the recession to catch up to growers.
“The most popular sizes to sell are 8, 9, and 10-foot trees. So, these are the trees that were planted in 2008, 2009, and 2010,” Stewart said.
Stewart said it has already been a record-breaking year in sales.
“We’ve had a great year. We’ve sold 2019 trees last Sunday, the day after the Iron Bowl. And it was the best day we’ve ever had in 30 years.”
With fewer trees on the market, the cost of one of Stewart’s Fraser fir’s goes up. Each tree costs $5 more than it did last year.
Poppy’s Christmas Trees sells out fast. Stewart said they plan to close one week before Christmas.