Tennessee feels effects of Christmas tree shortage


A Tennessee region has not been immune to the effects of a nationwide Christmas tree shortage, which is driving up costs and potentially endangering future years' supply.

The Christmas Tree Shop along White Bridge Road in Nashville said they, and others in the area, are experiencing the shortage. The businesses all order from the same farms that mostly distribute trees nationwide and heavily in the South.

Meanwhile, Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm owner Leo Collins told the Knoxville News Sentinel that this year's shortage largely stems from a tree surplus more than a decade ago. The East Tennessee farmer says that surplus depressed tree prices, which, combined with the Great Recession a few years later, pushed Christmas tree growers out of the market.

Collins says wildfires that burned across six southern states in 2016 also impacted the tree and seedling supply. He says the shortages have resulted in customers purchasing his stock of shorter trees, which could wipe out his potential supply of the bestselling 8-foot (2.4-meter) trees for 2018.

Despite the shortage, free Christmas trees are still available to cut down at Land Between the Lakes on the Tennessee/Kentucky border. Click here for information.

The AP contributed to this story.

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