Good Supply of Christmas Trees This Year in Missouri

Show-Me State is doing better than other states nationwide

Tom Franklin
November 21, 2018 - 12:08 pm

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Black Friday shoppers will be busy not just buying gifts to place under the Christmas tree...but also buying the Christmas tree itself.

Jackson, Missouri tree farmer Steve Meier is the President of the Missouri Christmas Tree Association. He tells KMOX News there should be plenty of supply this year.

"The number of trees is slightly up for the state," Meier said. "We are also slightly up about 1.5% on growers."

That last part reverses a recent downswing where older farmers were getting out of the Christmas tree business. With newer, younger farmers coming on, Meier says expect a good supply of trees going forward.

"People need to realize that a new grower needs seven years before they have a harvestable product," Meier warned. "Down the road, we're going to have an abundance of trees in Missouri."

The Associated Press reports other areas around the country, like the northeast, are having trouble keeping up with demand. This results in tree sellers having to raise prices on trees because supply is harder to get ahold of.

"Supply and demand seem to always be in some flux," Chal Landgren, a Christmas tree specialist and professor at Oregon State University, said via email to the Associated Press.

So what kind of tree will you buy this year?

Again, this is another area where Missouri differs from the rest of the country. Many people like fir trees because of their ability to retain needles and not make a mess. However, Meier notes that it's hard to grow fir trees and that he knows of only a couple of growers in the entire state, where conditions are actually suitable for them.

"Overall, it'll have to be a pine tree that's available to you," Meier notes. "That, or a spruce."

Spruce trees have shorter needles while pine trees have longer needles.

No matter which one you buy, though, Meier says there's two easy solutions for what to do with your tree after Christmas:

  1. Many cities offer dropoff services and can turn the tree into mulch for the spring season
  2. You can set your tree up as a bird feeder. Birds love pine cones.

In the end, there's one major reason why Meier advocates people buy real trees instead of fake trees: You're supporting Missouri farmers instead of overseas businesses.