Christmas tree shortage spares Augusta

Christmas tree shortage spares Augusta

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Christmas tree shortage has been years in the making, and demand is one of the main culprits.
A lack of demand back in 2008 caused farmers to plant fewer for the years to come and that is led to a shortage and price hikes in areas around the country.

Farmers have to plan years in advance for ebbs and flows in demand.
Traditionally, they have to plant seeds every year for trees that will not be sold for better part of a decade.

North Carolina is one of the largest producers of Christmas trees in the US and that is where many farms in the CSRA get their supplies from.

Thankfully, the southeast is not feeling the effects of the shortage as much as other areas of the country.
Locally, it has been business as usual for Gay's Christmas Tree Farm in Augusta.

"I plant as many as I can," said Matthew Gay, owner of Gay's Christmas Tree Farm. "Every year I pull up stumps and replant a whole new area, but I got to get them in the ground to keep them growing because I'm looking five, six years down the road."

Gay is also president of the Georgia Christmas Tree Growers Association, a group of tree farmers throughout the state.
He says the shortage has not taken a toll on Georgia, and has only minimally affected the primary supplier, North Carolina, which is where he gets his Fraser Firs.

The majority of Gay's trees are homegrown in Augusta.
You can check out his farm, yourself, at 2335 Tobacco Road, and check here for an updates list of hours.

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