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NY asks residents to buy local Christmas trees

NY asks residents to buy local Christmas trees

The trees at Papa Noel are 1,000 miles away from where they first sprouted.

The National Fire Protection Association says on average, one of every 31 reported Christmas tree fires results in death. Farmers there harvest more than 4 million trees per year, shipping them across the USA and as far as Japan.

Fast forward to 2017, the supply isn't as plentiful as it's been in years past.

Some people don't like the fuss and mess of a live tree, while others have allergies that preclude them from having a real evergreen.

Honey Bear usually gets its trees from OR and Washington, but this year it was forced to look as far away as Wisconsin.

All 50 states grow Christmas trees, but OR is the number one Christmas tree producer.

Christmas trees were in short supply previous year, too, but the shortage didn't catch any media attention, Hundley said.

The number of tree growers is also declining.

If the trees are able to be grown locally, it presents an opportunity for landowners to create a local tree market, she said.

"The time in the home depends on how warm the house is and how close to the heater the tree might be placed", Landren said. At $33, the tree was cheaper than in years past, Ann Rolls said. The recession, which started in 2007 and lasted 18 months, caused tree sales to dip and prices to plummet, so farmers planted fewer trees. The lack of water weakened the trees and stunted their growth. They bought a white, artificial one to match their mid-century home a year ago. Trucks that used to cost her $3,000 to hire now cost $4,000, she said.

She's the mother of three young ones, saying it's an annual holiday tradition to pick out the ideal tree.

That sentiment might be honest, but it's also strategic.

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Poe said for the next few years the demand could overtake the supply.

"I think it got to the point that most farmers in the last month and half, two months it nearly got to a first come first serve basis", Poe said.

But, he warned, the fake trees "are going to be in landfills forever".

Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm is open Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m.to 8 p.m.

"This is not corporate farming", he said, adding that the trees are "a labor-intensive crop".

Since 90% of trees are sold by the second weekend in December, the stock gets a heavy price slashing mid-way through December, and on Christmas eve, they are the cheapest at just $30 on average, when everything must go. For many people, the tradition is cutting down their own tree.

And in OR, at least, they have a less labor-intensive, more lucrative alternative option: growing marijuana - an option that will soon be available to California tree farmers as well.

The News bought the farm in 1976. "Some of our neighbors are making quite a bit of money, and it's not near the work this is".

"If there were no Christmas trees, where would Santa put your presents?"

"I've not heard of that", he said.

Tips for picking a top-notch Christmas tree.

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