MISSOULA,Mont. – Each year Copenhaver plantations grow around 300 Christmas trees. The trees are harvested to sell to customers for the holiday season like Meghan Mitchell. Mitchell has been coming to the Copenhaver’s farm for years, and loves how friendly everyone is.
“We love to say hello to Clay and Karla, and it’s always feels like the holidays when we come here and get a tree,” said Mitchell.
The cut and choose farm has been in the Copenhaver’s family for 35 years. They have enjoyed the ups and downs of business.
“We only do the “choose and cut” and we generally sell out of our trees at the end of the season, and if we don’t then they will be here for next season to sell again,” said Karla Copenhaver.
According to the National Christmas Tree association, trees are going up about 5-10 percent due to shortages around the country. Locally, owner of Adams ranch, Steve Adams says he is only experiencing shortages on two types of trees.
“It’s tree specific, specifically the Nobles and Nordmanns and Frasier Grand Fir, and Natural Douglas Fir, Alpine are all quite plentiful,” said Adams.
Adams says his cost has gone up about 10 dollars on the Nobles and Nordmanns bringing the total price to around $75.00 a tree. Adams who has been in the tree business for 30-plus years thinks he knows why the shortage is going on now.
“About 14 or 15 years ago there was a shortage, then there was a huge demand and then there was a huge surplus and now we’re onto seeing a shortage again,” said Adams.
Growers are planting more trees, but it typically takes 5-7 years for trees to grow full height, and until then, this shortage will continue.