Local Christmas tree farmer discusses this year’s supply


ELK PARK, N.C. (WJHL) – Although it’s not even December yet, some people are getting a head start on searching for the perfect Christmas tree.

Tree farms across the country are dealing with shortages, and David Ellis, co-owner of Elk River Evergreens, said if you’re looking for a big tree, you should plan to start early.

“Supply of trees is very, very limited this year,” Ellis said. “A lot of lots are not even going to be able to open up because they couldn’t find trees.”

Elk River Evergreens farm started in 1978. Through the years, they’ve seen a lot of changes.

Ellis said the economic recession from 2007 to 2009 is what’s impacting today’s trees.

“It takes 15 years to get a tree from a seed to an eight-foot tree to be able to sell in the field,” Ellis said. “It’s not an overnight recovery.”

Ellis said last year his farm sold about 3-4,000 trees, more than ever before.

This year, they’re on track to do the same.

“As far as COVID, by the time that we started last year, people was so overcome,” Ellis said. “They just wanted to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.”

For Finley Hampton, finding the perfect tree is the kick-off to a great holiday season.

“Celebrating Jesus’s birthday, spending time with my family and mostly getting presents,” Hampton said.

Ellis said his staff is gearing up for a big weekend. The farm typically sells about 60% of its stock during Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving.

“We’re going to beat the Thanksgiving crowd,” Cooper Woodard, who came out on Sunday, said. “That makes it a little bit easier when it’s not so hectic.”

Ellis said at this point they’ve sold about 500 trees and look forward to a great season.

“People want Christmas, and they want their tradition, and we want to help them with their memories,” Ellis said.

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