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Christmas Tree Farm Owners Expect Supply To Be Tight This Year

BUTLER COUNTY (KDKA) -- The Thanksgiving leftovers are hardly cold, but it's prime Christmas tree season.

National reports say there could be a low supply of trees this year, and KDKA wanted to find out what supply looks like in our area.

In speaking to some local Christmas tree farm owners, they said there is a bit of a tighter supply. They did say if you plan accordingly, you will be able to find the tree you want.

"Every year, we come out to a tree farm like this and hopefully cut down one for ourselves. It's a great way to start the Christmas season," Nick Bonazza said after cutting one down with his family on Friday.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is one of the most popular to cut down trees.

"It's always busy the first two days after Thanksgiving and then the next weekend after in December," Cypher's Christmas Tree Farm owner Randy Cypher said.

For his farm, Friday was opening day. He said supply will be tight this year.

"We can't grow them fast enough. I actually get some from a couple of other growers," Cypher said.

He said it's a result of some dry summers, plus several growers left the industry about a decade ago.

"We plant them and it takes a good seven to 10 years after that to actually get the tree that's 6 to 8 feet," Cypher said.

He said our side of the state is in better shape than near Philadelphia, where there is higher demand.

About 30 minutes away is Grupps's Christmas Tree Farm. They had some trees start going last weekend.

"I think we'll be good into the beginning of December. We still have a lot of pre-cut trees available," general manager Greg Grupp said.

The farm avoided drought problems, but it had some trees go down because of disease five years ago.

Other farms who spoke to KDKA over the phone said they expect to meet demand but it will be close.

The average price will be up this year. It will range from about $70 to $100.

"We have plenty of trees to choose and cut on the property, but we also have a really nice selection of pre-cut trees in the barn," Dave Grupp said.

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