- As more harsh weather takes its toll, less trees are being planted.
- The Christmas tree business is warning that low inventory might become a concern every holiday season, citing reports of tree shortages across Canada this year.
“For the foreseeable future, it’s not going to get any easier,” said Shirley Brennan, executive leader of the Canadian Christmas Trees Association, which represents hundreds of tree producers across the country.
According to Brennan, since 2015, sales of Canadian Christmas trees have increased by around 15% per year.
Because less trees are being also planted climate change is hurting their growth and survival, a Christmas tree shortage is likely to persist until demand drops. Sellers of Christmas trees in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia have all notified CBC News that they are having inventory problems this year.
On Nov. 26, an anxious Nevesha Persad Maharaj arrived at Chickadee for the farm’s opening day, far earlier than her family had ever gone tree shopping.
“We came out a couple of weeks earlier, and even we thought we were a little late,” she explained.
According to the company, one potentially worrying warning for the future: due to the current shortage, Ikea Canada had to stop selling real trees this year because it was “unable to secure the requisite local supply,” according to the company.
According to Brennan, about 49% of the Christmas trees grown in Canada are exported, while most of the trees in Canadian households are homegrown. According to Statistics Canada, there were just under 2,400 Christmas tree farms in Canada in 2011, with roughly 28,000 hectares (69,000 acres) of land under cultivation. By 2016, just under 1,900 farms were in operation, covering over 24,000 hectares (59,000 acres) of land.
When revised numbers are provided in the spring of 2021, Brennan expects to see a fall once more.
“We’re losing trees because we’re losing land. It’s roughly 1,000 trees per acre on average, “Brennan remarked. “We’ve lost a lot of opportunities to grow trees if we’ve lost 10,000 acres in five years.”
If the reduction from 2011 to 2016 is confirmed, Canada will have 20 million fewer Christmas trees in the ground in 2021 than it did a decade ago.
Source: CBC News
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