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Nursery says shortage means it won’t have Christmas trees this year

Julie Greaves, the general manager of Aberfeldy Nurseries (Photograph supplied)

A plant nursery will not sell Christmas trees this year because of a shortage of the traditional fir trees in North America, The Royal Gazette can reveal.

Julie Greaves, the general manager of Aberfeldy Nurseries in Paget, explained that a combination of forest fires and poor weather this year had slashed the number of Christmas trees available in the US and Canada.

She added that the scarcity across meant that the nursery’s usual suppliers could not send trees this year.

Ms Greaves said: “We tried lots of different brokers and we tried lots of different farms, but they’re having a really big shortage in the US.

“One of the people we spoke to was the head of the Quebec Christmas Tree Association – he’s a broker and a grower and he was saying that he would have to tell some of his clients in New York, who had been selling trees for 40 years, that he couldn’t sell anything to them this year because he just didn’t have any trees.”

The news came after Aberfeldy Nurseries last month announced that its biggest Christmas tree supplier did not have any trees in stock this year because of a range of environmental and economic factors.

Ms Greaves explained that Fraser firs and Quebec balsams, the two trees most used at Christmastime, had been in short supply for several years.

She said that a reduction in tree planting had also contributed to the shortage.

Ms Greaves added that much of the work in the Christmas tree logging industry was done by foreign labour, which had become scarce over the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “I think the writing’s been on the wall when it comes to this shortage.

“It’s a combination of things that have really just culminated in all this.”

Ms Greaves said that shipping the few trees available to the island could cost at least $6,000 a container.

But she emphasised that other outlets on the island would probably be able to supply Christmas trees.

Ms Greaves said that, although Aberfeldy would not have trees, the nursery had “some gorgeous poinsettias”.

She added: “We have some Christmas cactuses and some other things for Christmas, but people hear ‘Christmas’ and they think of a Christmas tree.”

Ms Greaves promised: “As soon as this Christmas is over, we’ll contact a whole load of farms and see if we can have another go next year.”

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Published October 06, 2021 at 7:42 am (Updated October 06, 2021 at 7:42 am)

Nursery says shortage means it won’t have Christmas trees this year

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