Garden retailers warn of potential tree shortage

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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BRANDON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The weather might not suggest it, but spring is upon us, and many garden retailers are getting trees in stock and ready to sell.

Those looking into buying a new tree may want to do it fast, because there may not be enough to go around. Tree Sellers say the demand for trees has been so high over the past few years they just don’t have enough stock to keep up.

Oakridge Nursery and Landscaping say they will have around the same number of trees as they do most years, but that may not be enough.

“Last year was record sales in trees for most nurseries and garden centers across the U.S. This year is looking to be the same way, so demand is way higher than it usually is,” said Daemon Coughlin.

Over at Lewis Drug, they may not have as big of a selection of trees as years past.

“There just isn’t that much product out there, we do the best we can to source, but right now if you see something, you should buy it, that goes for all plant material,” said Doug Schroeder, Lewis Drug Category Manager. “COVID has affected the people who work in some of these fields and greenhouses, so there is less being produced and yet more demand.”

Schroeder says it has been a perfect storm of events that led to a tree shortage.

“With Emerald Ash Borer hitting and decimating the forest across the country and then also Covid hit, and everybody started investing more money in their homes and back yards,” said Schroeder.

With the high demand for trees, finding the perfect tree this year could prove difficult.

“Stuff that we’re getting in might be a little smaller than normal because trees if you start running short, you can’t add another shift and produce more trees, it takes a couple of years to get them to that size that we want,” said Coughlin.

The recent cold front has put a pause on some sellers being able to put out all their stocks of trees but as things get warmer, they should fill up.

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