christmas tree shortage

Major Christmas tree shortage expected in Ontario this holiday season

Christmas trees are expected to be in short supply yet again this holiday season, meaning you might have to settle for an artificial tree instead. 

Local tree farmers across Ontario are facing inventory shortages amidst inflation and a drought season, and are urging people to purchase their Christmas trees early this year. The demand for Christmas trees is also driving up prices in several provinces across the country. 

Executive Director of The Canadian Christmas Tree Association, Shirley Brennen, told a local news station that the 2008 financial crisis also explains some of the supply issues. 

"In 2008, people might not have expanded their farms because of the economy. And now we're looking at a shortage because it takes anywhere between eight to 12 years once a seedling goes in, to make it marketable," said Brennan.

"But what we're learning from [Statistics Canada] agricultural reports is from 2011 to 2021, we actually lost 20,000 acres of potential Christmas tree farms [due to] retirement or death and people are not taking over the farms. That's equivalent to 30 million trees," Brennen explained. 

Doug Drysdale, owner of Drysdale's Tree Farm outside Barrie told CTV News that as the demand for Christmas trees continue to rise, so do costs. 

"I've seen price increases every year for the last 20 years," Drysdale said. 

A typical Christmas tree can take anywhere from seven to 12 years to grow, meaning it might be a while until we see supply catch up with the demand. 

Several Christmas tree farms across the GTA have already opened their doors in the past week, so if you prefer a real Christmas tree, you might want to purchase yours sooner than later. 

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