With 3 weeks until Christmas, ‘lots of trees to go around’

While many of us spent part of the weekend decorating for the holidays, some people have preferred to wait a bit longer.

A glance at the calendar shows less than three weeks until Christmas morning, so will there be enough trees for procrastinators?

“We’re coming out of a several-year shortage — supply is still tight, but you can still get a real Christmas tree,” said Ben Butler, farm manager at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, Maryland.

Butler said “there’s lot of trees to go around” at his pick-your-own farm, or in Christmas tree lots.

“You may not have it as tall as you’d like; you may not have the first pick of the lot, but there will still be trees around, all the way through Christmas Eve, if you’d like a real tree in your house,” he said.

The trees that will be decorated this month preceded the pandemic by a longshot: “Ones that we’re harvesting right now were planted about seven years ago.”

However, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will result in more expensive trees this year.

“As with everything else — supply chain, labor, and input costs have gone through the roof, so farmers are really just trying to keep up with that,” said Butler. “But, lots of trees to go around.”

With three weeks until Christmas, Butler said “it’s not rocket science” to keep the tree hydrated.

“Either at the site where you get the tree, or when you get home, put a fresh cut on that thing, so it’s able to suck up water,” he said. “And once you start putting water on it, don’t forget — keep water in that stand, and don’t let it run out.”

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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