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South Dakota sees Christmas tree shortage and high demand

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 10:20 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -If you’re thinking of purchasing a real Christmas tree this year, you may not have a lot of time left. Due to the weather and COVID-19, trees are flying off the lots fast.

For the past 52 years, Charlie and Donna Beck go Christmas tree shopping in early December.

“This year they’re picked over early,” said Charlie Beck.

Businesses like Baumgartner Family Christmas Trees in Sioux Falls are running out of trees.

Owners expect to be done as early as this weekend.

“Because of the nice weather and COVID I think everybody is buying early this year,” said Owner Kevin Baumgartner.

Wreaths are also selling at a rapid pace.

“Also, any outdoor garland and stuff, we were wiped out in the first week, which is unusual. But it was harder than normal to get it this year. A lot of the growers and cutters and people who make the wreaths were having a lot of trouble with labor this year. If they didn’t have COVID, some of their people did,” said Baumgartner.

So the business is making their own wreaths by hand.

A tree shortage is also contributing to a quicker season. Riverview Christmas Tree Farm in Canton grows their own.

“In the drought of 2012, all the baby trees died, and then this past drought in 2020 we just didn’t get much growth out of our trees and we actually lost some big trees as well,” said Owner Todd Gannon.

Because of fewer trees and high demand, the farm is already closed for the season, two weeks early. It’s something staff were not expecting.

“I think COVID had a lot to do with it, people really in the Christmas spirit and wanting some positive Christmas joy in their lives earlier than normal this year,” said Gannon.

The trees that are left, staff plan to grow and sell next year.

“For us personally, we should have good supply starting next year and we should be out of this shortage type situation,” said Gannon.

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