MENDON - Vandervalk Farms in Mendon is already closed for the season, after selling out of Christmas trees on their first weekend of the season. "We sold out after our first weekend, so it was Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Thanksgiving and after that we had no trees left," explained Lisa Vandervalk. "Last year we were open two full weekends after Thanksgiving, so to cut our selling time in half this year was a big surprise for us."
After selling roughly 700 trees, Vandervalk Farms will now take time off ahead of a busy winery season in the spring.
A similar situation happened at Baiting Brook Tree Farm in Framingham. At the end of their first day selling on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, "People started coming up and saying they didn't find the tree for them and so I know the trees that we have left here were a little bit too small and not quite ready and so we will save them for next year," explained owner Michael McKelvy.
According to a survey by the Real Christmas Tree Board, 20% of Americans planned to get their first real Christmas tree this year. That is putting a strain on the already tight supply.
"So, the Christmas tree industry is unusual from other commodities, because it takes five to 10 years to grow a Christmas tree," explained Jill Sidebottom of the National Christmas Tree Association. "The tight supplies of Christmas trees really goes back all the way to 2008 and the recession, and at that time there was a sort of an oversupply of trees, and so people weren't able to sell their trees in some cases, for even the costs that they had in the trees."
Now, demand seems to be surging for cut-it-yourself Christmas trees. "I think there's an uptick in getting the trees earlier," McKelvy said.
Now, with little you-cut options left, garden centers are expecting a big weekend with plenty of pre-cut trees in stock. "It's amazing," said Jeff Doherty of Angels Garden Center after a booming weekend. "Last week and we pretty much doubled our figures from the previous year."
He said this is the first time demand and supply seem to be back to pre-pandemic levels. "People want to do the family tradition of buying the tree and taking the picture," he explained.
So how much will a real tree run you? Experts say between $80 and $100.
for more features.