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Local Christmas tree farms impacted by supply chain issues

Finding one could look a lot different
Posted at 7:21 AM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 08:21:09-05

BENNINGTON, Neb. (KMTV) — At Bennington Pines Christmas Tree Farm, owner Jeff Vollmer is already feeling the impact of nationwide supply chain issues.

"What I've seen is just getting our precuts that a lot of customers like to get, we're only able to get about 85 Christmas trees, usually the previous owner was able to get 150-200," Vollmer said.

Vollmer attributes the shortage to a variety of causes.

"There was a lot of droughts in the past years and that's just now catching up with the supply, last year everybody was buying Christmas trees, that's my understanding with the precuts," Vollmer said.

The farm had to go above and beyond to pick up their precuts.

"We actually went and picked up our precuts because we're so backlogged, they wanted to get them here a lot sooner, the trees had already been cut for a good couple of weeks, so we went ahead and picked them up ourselves just so they got cut," Vollmer said.

Glen Andersen owns Country Conifers in Blair and noticed tree stand prices went up by 22 percent. He also noticed a seedling shortage due to a tight market.

"It causes great anxiety on my part trying to make sure I will have the seedlings on time," Andersen said.

Andersen also says business might have to be done differently to get what he needs.

"Freight has gone up a great amount. I'll be getting trees from Wisconsin and they suggested rather than having them shipped here, that I could go to Wisconsin and pick them up and save money," Andersen said.

Despite changes in the market, Andersen clings on to hope: it's not really Christmas without a live tree.

"A real Christmas tree is the way to celebrate Christmas, an artificial is just that, you take out of the box, you put it up, you put back in the box," Andersen said.

"Just the smiles, everybody's excited, that's why it's important to keep it going," Vollmer said.

Since there is a shortage on precuts, Vollmer says families will have to get creative — like finding and cutting the trees in the fields themselves.

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