January 25, 2022

Christmas tree farms are struggling more than ever this year with the high demand for evergreens. An alternative species may be your best bet this holiday season.

The demand for Christmas trees is skyrocketing in North America. From new Canadians embracing the Christmas tradition, to others embracing a more environmentally friendly approach, Christmas tree farms have had to make some changes to their business.

Thomas Morelli, co-owner of Andrew’s tree farm, says a first-come first-serve policy must be implemented to ensure happy customers.

“We have encouraged our customers to come as soon as possible if they want a real tree for the holidays,” says Morelli. “Trees tend to clear out pretty quickly and unfortunately some people do end up disappointed.”

It is difficult for tree farms to keep up with the demand because they can’t just ‘manufacture’ more supply. According to Canadian Food Focus, it can take anywhere from six to 12 years for a traditional evergreen to reach its desired height.

If you’re planning to put up a real tree this year, you may have to get creative. Morelli suggests a few alternative species.

“There are a couple different species you could go with, Scotch Pine or a Balsam Fir for its strong pine scent,” says Morelli. “But this doesn’t mean that these species don’t get purchased just as quickly, so it’s still best to come sooner than later.”

For those considering transitioning from artificial to real for environmental reasons, you may be better off sticking with your artificial tree. Sean Hallman, father of three, says his tree has been in his family for more than a decade.

“We originally went with an artificial tree because my wife is allergic to the smell, but after all this time it’s still in perfect condition,” says Hallman. “I feel like keeping this same tree for years and years, is better than chopping down a tree every December.”

Submitted photo of Hallman’s tree. “We have yet to decorate it, as you can see.”

Going the artificial route also means more styling options. There is more free range to get the right height, and one can even purchase a tree with snowy details on it.

For those sticking with the traditional approach of a real Christmas tree, there is no time like the present to get out there and find one for your home.

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