Northwest Christmas Tree Growers Say Business in Looking Up
SILVERTON, Ore. - Christmas tree growers in the Northwest say business is looking better this year after a long slump.
The growers say prices are up 2 to 3% after a seven-year slide that saw them drop by 35%.
Now, they say some buyers are scrambling to find high-quality trees.
The growers say the tailspin began when investors, many of them new, began pouring money into the business after the year 2000. When the trees reached maturity after seven years, the market was swamped, and prices fell.
One grower says more than half the growers who had more than 100 acres of trees are now out of the business.
Oregon leads the nation in Christmas tree production, with an estimated 775 producers cultivating nearly 61,000 acres. Nationally, Oregon provides over one third of the total Christmas trees purchased during the holidays.
Washington state comes in at sixth for Christmas tree production. With an estimated 300 commercial producers farming about 25,000 acres, Washington harvests roughly 2 million trees a year, which bring in an estimated $60 million.