If you are planning to pick up a freshly cut tree for the holidays, the good news is that it sounds like the local supply will be better than it was last year. Though the national tree shortage means it will cost a bit more.
Cliff Freund at CD Trees says he has heard that sourcing trees has been a challenge across the country. He adds that will not have a significant impact on their quantity thanks to a great growing season in southeastern Manitoba.
“We have the pine and the spruce and both of them did well,” says Freund.
The tree farm will have a greater number of trees available this season compared to last year. With a growing demand for large trees, Freund says they are bringing in several taller trees along with a few types of trees that do not grow well in Manitoba.
Robin Bryan with Pops Tree Shop in Steinbach says he has been busy this year, building relationships with tree farmers across the country and offering them a place to sell their products.
He believes there is a decline in tree farms in Canada and that is part of the reason for a continuing shortage each Christmas. Bryan has managed to source trees from different provinces including Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.
Both Bryan and Freund are confident they have enough supply to support the local demand. But if you’re looking for a large tree, or any specific type of tree, they suggest you either pre-order or pick one out sooner than later.
Although there will be plenty of trees to choose from, the price tag will be more than usual.
“Because of the shortage, the price is up anywhere from 10 to almost 20 percent, depending on what the species or what type,” says Freund. “The price is a little bit higher but it's still bearable. The tree that maybe sold for 49 dollars last year is going to be sort of mid 50s this year.”
Bryan says Pops Tree Shop will have a variety of sizes and quality of trees in order to offer something that will fit all budgets, from full-size premium trees to grade two trees.
“We were able to get high quality wild trees that will be cheaper,” says Bryan. “And then we actually have trees that go all the way up to 12 feet tall and those can be $200.”
Pops Tree Shop will be set up in Steinbach at the intersection of Main and Brandt. Bryan says it will be a festive setup that will brighten the area.
Freund says it already smells like Christmas at CD Trees, three miles south of Friedensfeld, with the aroma of evergreens floating around. He says the horses will be ready this Saturday to pull a sleigh around the farm.
On Saturday, November 26th, both locations will open for the season.