Local stores react to National Christmas tree shortage

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This is the time of the year George Rohrer always looks forward to selling his crop of Christmas trees.

“The reason we come here is because we can cut our tree down as soon after Thanksgiving and it’s soft and supple,” said customer Pennee Merrill. “So we don’t have a room full of needles.”

USA Today said the prices of firs, spruces and pines have increased due to a national tree shortage. They say the shortage is linked all the way back to the great recession in 2008, when tree farmers started to grow less. Locally that’s not the case and prices are similar to last year. 

Half Day Creek Christmas Tree farm owner George Rohrer is more concerned about the tree crop in future years because this year’s drought killed his youngest batch of trees, and it’s happened before. 

“In 2012, 2013 we had a drought,” said Rohrer. “We lost all of our trees back then we will be feeling the effects here in the next year or two trees that we were getting at a sellable height, we won’t have.” 

As you prepare for the holidays this year, Rohrer said you won’t want to wait to buy. 

“Don’t wait till the last minute and then go looking for a tree,” said Rohrer. 

And if you are too late Topeka stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot and Menard’s said they have plenty of trees to accommodate buyers. 

To pick out the perfect Christmas tree near you, you can use this database of local farms. 

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