Valley Christmas tree market shifting

Valley Christmas tree market shifting

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Flood and droughts are damaging Valley trees but also creating opportunities to cash in.

In the last year, two high profile tree farm closure announcements have farms looking to pick up the slack, and at least one is looking out of state.

In 2018, the owners of the Valley Christmas Tree Plantation in Huntsville retired after 43 years.

In November, Lacey’s Spring Schwerman Christmas Tree Plantation announced its final season after a series of damaging droughts and floods.

The Trim-A-Tree farm in Athens experienced flooding at the beginning of the December, but general manager Sam George said the farm has weathered the storm and is looking to cash in on new customers.

He said the closures have spiked demand.

“Selling 40 or 50 [trees] and we went from that to selling a thousand it seems like overnight," he said.

He said 25 acres of farm only produces 300 fully grown trees any given year. To keep the supply where it needs to be, the farm is ships in trees from Wisconsin.

“The last thing we want is for them to buy an artificial tree and we never see them again,” he said.

Shipping the trees in does cost the farm more, but the farm leadership said it’s a necessary expense.

Newly opened Back to Christmas Tree Farm in Madison is also looking to capitalize.

Farm owner Judy McMurray said her grandsons planted their tree farm crop from Georgia, and expect the Madison market to be receptive.

"All of our marketing forecast is that everybody going to back to the live trees. We're looking forward to maintaining."

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