Tallest Trees Available — 6.5 ft.
WHAT’S GOING ON
WITH CHRISTMAS TREES
As you’ve seen in the news, there is a shortage
of Christmas trees across the nation. Some folks
may not even be able to find a Christmas tree this
year. Fires out west decimated Christmas tree farms impacting wholesale availability. An
oversupply of trees in the 2011/2013 seasons led to decreased planting, thus a shortage of mature trees now. Follow that with the drought in 2020 which distressed the trees, followed by the lack of snow which protects the trees in the winter, led to further loss.
The pandemic resulted in an influx of new residents to our area last season. Due to Covid, more people were staying home in smaller groups, and people were buying more trees than ever before. Sales in 2020 were increased, but that left us with fewer tall trees for the 2021 season.
This national shortage paired with the increased demand has led to increased prices nationally—$20 per tree on average nationally. Increased costs at every stage—labor, supplies and trucking—have contributed to the higher prices as well.
HERE AT GLOVE HOLLOW
We have absorbed as much of the increased costs/inflation as possible to keep our retail trees affordable. (Our cut your own price is now less than what we could sell the trees for wholesale.) We appreciate our Glove Hollow family and want to continue welcoming you to our farm and being part of your holiday tradition.
Why are the tall trees gone at Glove Hollow?
Prior to 2011 it was normal for our tallest trees to only be 7-7.5 ft. tall, very much like today.
In 2011 our farm flooded with Tropical Storm Irene, rising a total of 12 ft. in some of our lower fields covering 90% of our trees (farm wide) with silt and mud from upriver roads and field washouts. This major event essentially made most of our trees unmarketable for two years…it took two growing cycles for old growth to drop off in the winter as new growth was added in the spring…allowing them to once again be marketable. During those two years the trees grew to 9 ft. tall—2 ft. taller than normal. The problem was that we had a buildup of two years worth of unsold (wholesale and retail) trees added to our normal production of trees for that year…AND SO IT STARTED. 30,000 mature 8–9 ft. trees all at once to choose from. It took 7 years for us to play catchup and find wholesale buyers during a period of oversupply of trees in the US. Each year the trees grew another foot taller and soon we had 25 thousand trees 9–13 ft. tall. Many newer customers only remember those abundant years from 2013–2019, where there were rows upon rows of trees everywhere on the property. It was great to be a customer of Glove Hollow during those years, but as the owner we were panicked about the real possibility we might not be able to ever harvest that many trees in a market oversupply. Large trees would become too expensive to shear and maintain for prices that were not high enough to justify the labor. We spent three–four times our labor budget plus all the other costs associated with trying to keep our farm going.
That experience with Mother Nature in 2011 is just as real now as we experience the back end of the devestation in two ways.
Customers remember the incredible selection of 30,000 9–13 ft. trees to choose from and feel we should still have the same selection now. They may not like having to buy their taller trees at a different farm that most likely price taller cut-your-own trees differently which might increase their cost considerably. Glove Hollow's "one price system" in the field reflects the cost of an average 6-7.5' tree...the result...taller trees become a bargain.
The other little known issue that was not as noticeable back then was that same flood event caused us to loose more than 8,000 seedlings, much of our two most recent spring plantings or about 10% of our trees were wiped out. Many of those lost seedlings would have been mature and ready to harvest this year.
Today, we are very close to capacity, with 78,000 trees growing on our 172-acre farm. We have THOUSANDS of superior trees up to 7.5 ft. tall, ready for you to choose from this year. As you walk the fields today, you will notice a sea of 4–6 ft. trees, so expect a bigger selection of trees into the foreseeable future.
We hope all of the information provided gives you a glimpse of the challenges we face. We appreciate your support and we thank you for making us a part of your Christmas tradition.
The Ahern Family