Earlier drought conditions leave shortage of Christmas trees for winter time

Earlier drought conditions leave shortage of Christmas trees for winter time

MENDON, Mass. — Look out at Vandervalk farm and winery in Mendon and you’ll see a landscape fit for Santa himself; Christmas trees as far as the eye can see. But this year, the drought has left some lasting damage.

“We probably planted 1,500 little trees in the field, I’d say at least 500 to 600 didn’t make it,” said owner Casey Vandervalk.

When it comes to Christmas trees, the problem is twofold really: dying trees this year and an overall Christmas tree shortage in Massachusetts, especially for cut-your-own farm trees.

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“A lot of trees come out of North Carolina [up] to Massachusetts, they have overplanted those for years and years and there was a glut of trees. That glut is gone, it’s been gone a couple years, that way there was a shortage last year. I expect it’s going to continue,” Vandervalk said.

At Vandervalk’s, it is cut-your-own, and it starts the day after Thanksgiving.

“It’s definitely first come first serve,” Casey Vandervalk said.

He said he should be all sold out of 1,000 trees in about two weeks.

“Once the parking lot is full, we just have to tell people to come back at another time,” Vandervalk said.

His advice, especially this year, don’t wait.

“To my customers I would suggest come really early,” Vandervalk said.

In a year full of upheaval and COVID-19, the comfort of a Christmas tree may be more coveted than ever.