Fayetteville Christmas tree farm prepared despite statewide shortage

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Christmas tree farm is ready to go in Fayetteville, but customers can expect to see higher prices because of a nationwide shortage.

The Dowless Christmas Tree Farm is expecting to sell 200 Fraser Firs a day once Thanksgiving passes.

Some people, like the Torres family, spent Wednesday getting a head start on Christmas shopping.

"We figured today would be a good time to kick off that shopping spree," Torres said.

In the last three years, owner Currie Dowless has seen less inventory makes its way to the lot.

"A lot of farmers, small farmers have gone out of business," Dowless said.

The 40-year tree farmer credits the Great Recession of 2007 and natural disasters like Hurricane Florence and Matthews for the problem.

"Prices have gone up here in the last two or three years, quite a bit," Dowless said.

The farmer says it takes around 12 years for the Fraser Firs to fully develop. The tedious process includes seedling farmers who spend several years developing the seeds of the tree for planting.

Dowless says those are the individuals that have been affected by the poor economy a decade ago.

Now, Christmas tree farmers are seeing the ripple effect of those factors. That perfect storm also includes a currently strong economy that's giving people the ability to go shopping.

"You got a lot of people buying trees that used to not buy trees and then that perfect storm situation is where the shortage of the trees happens now," Dowless added.

Dowless believes the strong economy will slowly bring back those farmers and increase the level of production for harvest.

The Christmas tree farm is located at the Westwood Shopping Center next to the All American Expressway.

Their hours are Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
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