Demand for real Christmas trees on the rise
OTTAWA -- There's an early rush to decorate for the holidays that could lead to a shortage of real Christmas trees.
If you're on the hunt for the perfect pine or for just to spruce things up, the Fallowfield Tree Farm has plenty to choose from right now.
Owner Kenny Stuyt has been busy preparing his farm for the rush. You can browse and buy, cut-your-own, or have one delivered. Stuyt says in a normal year they would sell around 1,500 trees and 2020 has been a boom year.
"I would say at least a 30 per cent increase from last year but it could be as high as 50. We're only at the beginning of December," says Stuyt. "I'm guessing we're going to push over the 2,000 to 2,500 tree mark this year."
The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to be one of the reasons Christmas tree sales across the country have skyrocketed. Many families are looking to bring back traditions or make new ones, and as many are choosing to travel less and stay home.
It can take upwards of 10 years to grow the average-sized Christmas tree, so farmers don't have the ability to increase their supply to cover the surge in demand this year.
Shirley Brennan, the executive director with the Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association, says the Frasier fir is by far the most popular tree, but it's also the hardest and slowest to grow.
Brennan says tree sales have been on a steady trend upwards over the last five years, but it will take time for the industry to catch-up after this surge.
Still, she says growers will do their best to make sure every family that wants a real Christmas tree gets a real Christmas tree.
"If there's somebody in Ontario who wants a tree we're going to get you a tree," says Brennan. "You will have to think outside the box, you may have to go to a different type, maybe a spruce tree, but there's so many things out there."