Christmas tree season in full bloom
By LYNETTE SOWELL
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in neighborhoods and homes across the city, and each year for many, that involves purchasing a live Christmas tree at just the right time.
Doug Hundley with the National Christmas Tree Association said although the NCTA is confident that everyone looking for a real Christmas tree this year will have no problem finding one that their family and children will love, the market for live trees is “tight” this year.
“It might be a good idea to make the annual adventure, picking out a real tree this year, in early December rather than the last minute,” Hundley said.
The reason for the tight market, Hundley said, is supply and demand.
“Surprising to most, it takes Christmas tree growers about 10 years to grow a 7-8 foot Christmas tree. In 2007 we were in the beginning of the ‘Great Recession.’ Christmas tree sales started a downward turn and so did tree prices. During the following years, Christmas tree growers did not have the room available from normal harvesting, nor the revenue to plant as many trees as they would have, if sales had been better. The result, 10 years later, is today’s smaller supply.”
While nationally the market for live Christmas trees might be “tight,” as described by the NCTA, one local longtime live Christmas tree vendor is meeting the season head-on just as he has for decades.
Gordy Tessman, who runs Gordy’s Christmas Trees every year in the vacant lot on the corner of Business 190 and Morris Drive, said he hasn’t run into any issues while procuring the trees he’s brought to Copperas Cove all the way from Michigan. He’s been bringing trees to Copperas Cove annually for “a lot of years” but said this year, he hasn’t noticed any shortage.
“They were saying there’s a tree shortage, but that’s just a rumor, even in Michigan,” Tessman said.
His lot carries a wide variety of trees read to take home, from the ever-popular Fraser and Douglas firs, to the blue spruce, which is also dubbed the “cat tree,” Tessman said.
“It’s because the needles are sharp and cats don’t like to climb them,” he said. In addition to the above fir and spruce trees, Gordy’s also carries Scotch pine and a con-color fir. And, in the old-fashioned tradition, families can walk among the trees until they find just the right one.
Tessman will then put netting on the tree, if desired, for ease of transport home. Gordy’s also carries a variety of tree stands, and also sells fresh evergreen wreaths starting at $15.
He said the earlier someone buys a tree, the better.
“Cut trees will do a lot better at your home, than they will waiting here outside. If you put it inside your garage until you set it up, it’ll do a lot better.” He anticipates that they’ll sell out before Christmas Eve.
The Christmas tree industry, both real and artificial, is a multi-billion-dollar industry annually nationwide. For 2016, the NCTA reported that the average price for a live tree was $74.70, with 27.4 million trees purchased totaling $2.04 billion. The average price spent for an artificial tree in 2016 was $98.70, 18.6 million purchased, $1.86 billion in sales.