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Business and Economy

Mainers should expect tight supply on Christmas trees this holiday season

Christmas Tree Industry
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, fog drifts through a Christmas tree farm near Starks Mountain in Fryeburg, Maine.

The Maine Christmas Tree Association says the supply of holiday trees will be tight this year and the reason dates back to the Great Recession, in 2008.

"Some farms went out of business at that time. Others cut back on planting. The repercussions of that last a decade," says Jim Corliss, a retired tree farmer and former president of the Maine Christmas Tree Association.

Corliss says in the 1960s, real trees made up 95% of the national Christmas tree market. With the introduction of artificial trees, the real tree market share dropped to 30-35%.

Corliss says advertising by The Maine Christmas Tree Association since 2015 is starting to pay off and more people are buying real trees again.

Jay Cox of Old Farm Christmas Place in Cape Elizabeth says last year he sold out of trees by the first weekend in December and he believes this holiday season will be no different.

"Last year was the busiest year we had, the weekend coming up after Thanksgiving is our busiest weekend of the year. I sell between 2,100 and 2,200 trees a year," he says.

The Maine Christmas Tree Association says despite tight supply, everyone who wants a tree should be able to get one, if they're willing to travel.