SALEM — Christmas trees in Oregon may cost a bit more this year as the supply of holiday firs in the state has dropped.
An oversupply of trees in 2015 led some growers to leave the market, meaning there are fewer trees to go around this year, which could push prices slightly up, The Salem Statesman Journal reported.
Tracy Fisher, a bookkeeper and office manager with Hupp Farms, located in the Silverton area, said the company has seen high sales and has turned down at least 50 inquiries for trees.
"People are just scrambling for Christmas trees," she said.
Fisher said Hupp Farms is selling noble firs for around $5 per foot — with popular sizes ranging between 6 and 8 feet tall. She said those prices are slightly higher and more in line with 2005 levels. The farm has sold 22,000 trees so far.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, harvest and sales of trees dropped 26 percent in 2015 compared to 2010. USDA statistician Dave Losh said growers planted an overabundance of trees compared to the demand for them and as supply outpaced demand, prices fell and growers left.
"Now it's just a matter of who's left," he said.
Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Bryan Ostlund says while supplies have tightened, there is no shortage of Christmas trees in Oregon.
"It's what mother nature provides us here in the Northwest," he said, later adding, "It's just a perfect natural growing environment for these conifers."