Weather is to blame for tree farm changes this Christmas season

Somerdale, Alabama (WKRGMore) – Christmas tree supply is problematic, especially when it comes to spectacular trees.

“No tree is taller than 10 feet,” said Steve Manhard, owner of Fish River Treest in Somerdale. There is a significant shortage of larger fir trees.”

Mother Nature takes part in that responsibility. Mannhard and his wife Sandra have run Fish River Trees for the past 41 years. He said most trees on the 40-acre farm grow up to three feet in a year, provided the weather cooperates.

In 2022, some people were stunted due to too much rain this summer.

“It was the wettest July and August I have ever experienced,” says Manhardt. It rained “more than 30 times” in two months, but it didn’t stop. I was wondering if the day would come when the rain would stop. ”

He said it hasn’t rained enough this fall. This means that it grows slowly. As a result, fewer tall trees will be available this Christmas season. Please do your best to find it. And if so, expect sticker shock.

“Currently, the average grower charges about $10 a foot for pick-cut trees,” says Manhardt. “Some people charge a little more. An average tree, like 7-8 feet. Ranging from $70 to $80. That’s a lot less than a fir tree costs about twice as much.”

This holiday season, Mannhard purchased 2,000 fir trees from the northern United States to supplement the farm. He can also choose from hundreds of “bucket” trees. He also said it would cost more to bring in his inventory.

“A lot of it is transportation costs, and they are missing,” Manhardt continued.

Southern Christmas tree farmers are also facing rising production costs.

“Manure went through the roof,” said Manhardt. “All the chemicals you use to keep wood bug-free and all that, they’re all up.”

Seedlings are hard to get for farmers again this year. Mannhard says he has to order a year in advance and then grow them for two to three years before selling them, making his best guess every step of the way.

“You have to plan for the long term and hope nothing happens three years from now that impacts the market,” Mannhard said.

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https://www.wkrg.com/baldwin-county/weather-to-blame-for-changes-on-the-tree-farm-this-christmas-season/ Weather is to blame for tree farm changes this Christmas season

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