Christmas tree farmers expect a banner year

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Christmas tree farmers are expecting a banner year as COVID has families desperate to bring a little holiday cheer to their homes.

Southern Christmas Tree Association head Kevin Steele Sr. said that expectation is based on early demand and he thinks this could be their best year since 2005.

“People have been locked up basically for 11 months, they are looking for a good excuse to get out of the house, out into the fresh air, social distance in the field and pick out a live tree,” said Steele.

Steele is confident the supply is there to meet the huge expected demand. He recommended going with the iconic Leyland cypress.

“It holds up really well and lasts a long time, it is a gorgeous tree, it has been well established in the south as a premier Christmas tree for southern growers,” said Steele.

Up north of the Mason-Dixon Steele says growers are facing Christmas tree shortages due to a decision to reduce supply during the economic downturn a few years ago. That shouldn’t be an issue in the warmer, wetter south, however.

Steele asked you to check out your local Christmas tree farm instead of going with plastic from a big-box retailer.

“This year more than any other time in the past we need to focus on supporting our local businesses, they have been impacted so terribly by COVID this year,” said Steele.

Steele also owns and operates Steele Christmas Tree Farm in Angie.