From tree farm to tree lot

Hundreds of tagged trees await their home. PHOTO/AJ KAJY

OU News Bureau

The tree has been at the center point of a household come Christmas time since the 16th century. Today, many are locally grown in Michigan.

Between 25 million and 30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year, according to the Michigan Christmas Tree Association. There are close to 350 million growing on about 15,000 farms across the country.

Michigan tree farmers harvest and sell 1.69 million trees in a year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Michigan trees travel westward to Colorado and south to Florida. Many of the trees will stay right here in Michigan.

The Duggan family enjoys the annual hunt for the perfect tree. PHOTO/AJ KAJY

An ice cream parlor in the summer turned Christmas tree lot in the winter, Mr. C’s in Oakland County ends up with hundreds of Michigan-grown trees for sale.

 “The day before Thanksgiving, roughly 200 trees are delivered to this lot,” Simon Moore, a tree associate at Mr. C’s, said.

Many small lots elect to get their trees in one shipment right when the season starts. It proves to be the safer move for the owners.

“The Christmas season is short for people who get real Christmas trees. The normal customer will buy it from Thanksgiving on,” Moore said.

This limits the window to receive shipments. Receiving them all at once ensures enough to last the month.

This next decade, more owners might choose to receive them early. There is an expected shortage of Christmas trees from now until 2025, due to past economic conditions.

When the Great Recession hit 10 years ago, many citizens chose to not buy trees. This caused a surplus — and fewer being planted. A Christmas tree has about a 10-year cycle from planting to a living room. The 10-year cycle has come up this year.

“Michigan is lucky to be a heavy producer of trees. The effects will not be as harsh,” said Cece Henderson as she handled a tree shipment at Mr. C’s.

“The price of trees will increase by only a couple dollars, and there is a possibility of a few kinds of trees shipping in limited quantities,” Henderson said.

Fraser Fir trees are in limited quantities this season in Michigan. The ramifications of the shortage will have a greater effect in the South.

People appeared to not be feeling the effects of the shortage, as many made their way out to Mr. C’s tree lot one recent day.

“Really, a shortage, I had no idea,” Renard Duggan of White Lake said. “Price isn’t something I think about when a buying a tree.”

The Christmas tree hunt for the Duggans is a family tradition.

“A tree is tree, don’t get me started on artificial trees,” Ariel Duggan said. “Our family has gone out the week after Thanksgiving since I can remember.”




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Posted by on Dec 12 2017. Filed under Featured article, Oakland County. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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