The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Tree shortage not affecting local supplies


November 28, 2017

A nationwide Christmas tree shortage has had little effect on the High Plains’ ability to purchase the real thing this year, according to local nursery owners.

The shortage has driven up prices across the country because of the 2007 recession, according to National Christmas Tree Association spokesman Doug Hundley.

But Cameron Simmons, general manager of Hamilton Providence Garden in Clovis, said prices haven’t changed from a year ago, though he had to import the trees from Michigan this time.

“Trying to find them was difficult. We went to a big show in Dallas, and that’s where we ended up finding a vendor for them,” he said.

Prices for Christmas trees at Hamilton Providence Garden vary from $52 to $57.

Simmons said he did not know there was a shortage. Neither did Portales’ Garden Source Nursery and Landscaping owner Curt Jaynes.

Prices for trees haven’t changed from last year — starting at $58 — Jaynes said.

Those opting for a real tree should remember that water is the key to keeping it alive throughout the holiday, both men said.

“Really, just making sure that it has water once it’s in the house will typically make it last through the holiday,” Simmons said.

The trees at Hamilton Providence Garden are also misted before they’re sold, “because a Christmas tree takes in like 95 percent of its water through its needles,” according to Simmons.

The number of times the bowl will need refilling depends on the time of purchase and the type of tree — for example, a blue spruce will take up the most water, while a Scots pine will take up the least, Simmons said.

“Some of them are gonna suck up more water than others. No tree’s gonna be the same,” he said, adding that the bowl should be filled with one quart of water per inch of the tree’s stem diameter.

Jaynes recommended that buyers cut “at least an inch or two off the base, and then immediately put it in water.”

“Check it daily to make sure that it has enough water, because if it dries out, then it can become flammable,” he said.

To reduce the risk of fire, Jaynes said buyers should keep the tree away from heaters and fire places, “and make sure their Christmas lights are in order; no exposed chords or wires.”

Fake trees should be held to this same safety standard, Jaynes said.


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