‘The cost of raising them has went up’: Local farmers navigate a shortage of Christmas trees

Local News

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The process of purchasing a Christmas tree could become more difficult this year than in years past.

Greene County Trees CEO Al Eernisse cited that the tree farming business has become more expensive which is driving many farmers away from the business.

“It’s always a problem because the cost of raising them has went up,” Eernisse said. “The younger generation doesn’t want the labor that’s involved with it.”

Aside from inflation, Eernisse said that Mother Nature is also partially to blame for the shortages of trees. He said climate change resulted in him losing thousands of trees over the years.

“Climate change affected us more than anything,” Eernisse explained. “We lost 30,000 trees.”

According to Eernisse, it takes anywhere from seven to twelve years to a grow a fully mature Christmas tree. He said that due to this long time period, inflation and supply chain issues could have a grim effect on future yields of Christmas trees.

“The shortage of trees is going to be here for at least five years,” Eernisse stated. “We’re going to see a five year slump and they’re going to be harder to find.”

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