Picking out a perfect tree is a Christmas tradition, but due to a shortage, tree sellers say shoppers who are picky better come early.
Winter weather up north led to an early frost on some of the trees, making the branches far from lovely. The supply was so damaged, Lovell’s Nursery in Medfield got the bad news from their vendor just two weeks before Thanksgiving.
“He said he couldn’t supply us with any trees,” manager Jay Cebrowski said. “That’s never happened so we started to panic.”
The weather combined with the fact that fewer trees were planted a decade ago during the recession has led to a mild shortage. Fortunately, Lovell’s was able to scramble.
“I called many different vendors, up to five different vendors, just to supply us this year,” Cebrowski said.
Lovell’s got the first delivery of trees early Friday morning. They are having to dust the snow off of the branches and do not have as many balsam firs as they would like, but they will begin selling them Saturday.
At the American Legion in Dover, the trees are an annual fundraiser and organizers said they had a tough time finding 500 of them this season. They do not have many tall trees at all.
“We usually sell 35 to 40 trees that are 11 or 12 feet tall, but this year we were only able to get 14 that tall,” Tom McGill, who oversees the effort said.
McGill said the trees they do have cost them roughly 20-percent more this year, but they do not plan on passing that cost on to the customer. Instead, he said they plan on making less per tree this season.
“And if you want that big beautiful tree, you better come now,” McGill said.