06November 29, 2018

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now people turn to holiday decorating. There has been a lot of news coverage concerning a shortage of Christmas trees and wreaths. I have talked to a few people in the business and I have gotten their take on what has been going on. Let me fill you in with what I have learned.

At this time of the year, our store sells a lot of trees, wreaths and other decorating needs. Over the last few years, supply has been tight on certain items. Part of the reason is the amount of time it takes to grow a Christmas tree.

Back in 2007, the recession began to cause growers to plant less trees because people were buying fewer trees. Each year there were fewer trees planted and nationally growers began to get out of the business of growing trees. Fast-forward to 2013 and the economy began to turn around. Growers began to plant more trees.

In many cases, it can take up to 10 years from planting a baby tree until you get a tree that is saleable size. This year, those trees are beginning to get some size to them. Many of the balsam fir trees that are sold in this area come from Canada. In many of the sections of Canada where trees are grown, there has been 3 to 5 feet of snow. This makes it very difficult to get the trees out of the huge tree plantations and onto trucks for delivery to the United States. This is creating somewhat of a shortage of trees.

Balsam wreaths are made by hand in Canada. People go out and cut balsam branches and turn those branches into wreaths. The heavy snow has made it extremely difficult for people to get out and cut the branches. This has made the supply of wreaths below what it should be.

This does not mean that there are no trees or wreaths available. It does mean that there are less trees and wreaths available this year. I know that we have had a lot of rainy weather this fall and many people have not even thought about decorating for Christmas. The take-away from all this is that if you wait too long to buy your wreaths and tree, you may be disappointed in the availability of trees and wreaths.

When you get your wreaths and other greens for decorating your planters, there is a way to get those wreaths and greens to last longer. I have told you about a product called Wilt Pruf that you can spray onto your broadleaf shrubs to help those shrubs to survive the winter. The Wilt Pruf is sprayed onto the shrub leaves and it forms a waxy coating that slows down the loss of moisture due to sun and winter winds. If you spray your wreaths and greens with the Wilt Pruf, the wreaths and greens will stay fresher longer.

Once you have purchased your tree, you will want to cut about an inch or two from the bottom of the trunk of the tree. This will allow the tree to take up water. Once you get the tree into the stand, you need to be diligent about keeping the stand full of water.

If the stand runs dry, the tree will seal off the cut and the only way you will be able to get the tree to take up water again is to take the tree out of the stand, make a new cut on the bottom of the trunk and then get the tree back into the stand and fill the stand with water. If you have to do this, the elf on the shelf will report back to Santa the bad words that were being said while you were doing this.

Well, that all for this week. If you are in the decorating mood this weekend, stop by the store and take a look at all we have to offer.

I’ll talk to you again next week.

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