If you think retail stores had Christmas decorations out too soon this year, wait until you hear how early Christmas tree farmers have to start planning.

These dedicated growers invest six to eight years nurturing their crop, and multiple factors during that time can influence the availability and cost of Christmas trees for consumers. As we approach the 2023 holiday season, Louisiana's Christmas tree market is not exempt from these challenges.

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1. The 2016 Drought

Lisa Angevine-Bergs, the executive director of the Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association, has revealed that the price of Christmas trees is likely to see a slight increase this year. Last year, many farms had to raise their prices due to losses incurred during the drought of 2016, which led to lower inventory levels between 2021 and 2023.

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2. Fewer Seedlings

The damage continued in 2022, as many farms lost a significant number of seedlings to drought. Rising costs of seedlings, transportation, irrigation equipment, fertilizers, and fuel have compounded the situation, resulting in a price increase for Christmas trees that will be sold in the state.

Julianna Arjes Via Unsplash
Julianna Arjes Via Unsplash
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3. Size Preferences Have Changed

Jeffrey Owen, an Extension forestry specialist specializing in Christmas trees for North Carolina State University, echoes the same sentiment for North Carolina, and it's safe to say that other regions, including Louisiana, could face similar challenges. Despite some growers increasing production to meet demand, many trees are still in the process of reaching the ideal size.

The tight supply is partly due to robust sales of smaller tree sizes in recent years, leading to a shortage of larger trees, especially those exceeding seven feet. Such intricacies in supply and demand can disrupt the industry's internal market and affect growers' ability to match their customers' needs precisely.

Cara Grobbel Via Unsplash
Cara Grobbel Via Unsplash
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