CORVALLIS, Ore. – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of Christmas tree sales in Oregon this year, according to Oregon State University Extension’s Christmas tree specialist.
Supply should still be adequate — even better than the last few years – but some U-cut farms will bow out this year, said Chal Landgren, a professor in OSU’s College of Forestry at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora.
“There will be some U-cut farms that don’t open,” Landgren said. “Some U-cuts will go by reservation. But there should be plenty of trees for the holidays.”
Oregon leads the nation in Christmas tree production. But in recent years, drought and a shortage of seedlings caused a situation where demand outstripped supply, Landgren said. Because of the pandemic, however, tree farms have had to change the way they work.
Although it’s a seasonal item, Christmas tree production is a year-round operation. As late as March, tree farms had multiple workers traveling together in a single vehicle. That ended with pandemic restrictions and protocols that slowed down the work.
Landgren points to the NW Christmas Trees site, which features an extensive list of U-cut farms and contact information so that visitors can call ahead to see if they are open.
Landgren offers some tips for those who will be buying a natural tree this year.
About the OSU Extension Service: The Oregon State University Extension Service shares research-based knowledge with people and communities in Oregon’s 36 counties. OSU Extension addresses issues that matter to urban and rural Oregonians. OSU Extension’s partnerships and programs contribute to a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for Oregon.