Local Christmas tree farms thriving despite national tree shortage

"You come out, the kids are running up and down the aisles, there's fresh air, they don't have the video games and iPhones. They're making a lasting memory."

ANGIE, La. --  With a full 24 hours before the official opening of Christmas tree season at Steele's Tree Farm in Washington Parish, one family was already combing the full fields for their perfect tree.

"You come out, the kids are running up and down the aisles, there's fresh air, they don't have the video games and iPhones. They're making a lasting memory," owner Kevin Steele said. 

It's an experience some farms across the country won't see as much of this year due to a tree shortage. That could also turn into a price hike for families nationwide.

"Several years ago there was a glut of Christmas trees, economics came in and farmers weren't able to make enough money, so they may have shut their farms down. And that has transitioned now to where some of the northern trees are in short supply like the Fraser Fir," Steele said. 

Though some local farms do ship in Fraser Firs, they're seeing the opposite out of their own crop, which contains three to five different varieties of tree. All of the farms, including Country Pines in Covington, have near a thousand each to sell this season, at an average cost of $5 per foot.

With two years worth of near perfect weather, the tree crop is not only plentiful, but healthy too. That's left Christmas Town Christmas Tree Farm in Kentwood looking forward to their second year in business.

"It's very fun," owner Alisa Miller said. "It's pleasing just to see all the kids running around. It makes us happy just to hear the voices of them out there giggling and running."

So whether you're looking for traditional green, flocked, colored or even a crafted tree, local tree farms say they've got it all, along with a special family Christmas experience as the bow on top.

If you're interested in the tree farm experience this year, here's a list of locations on the Northshore:

Christmas Town Christmas Tree Farm, Kentwood, La.
Country Pines Christmas Tree Farm, Covington, La.
Shady Pond Tree Farm, Pearl River, La.
Steele's Tree Farm, Angie, La.
Tiger Branch Christmas Trees, Covington, La.
Yawn Station Christmas Tree Farm, Independence, La.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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