If you want a real tree this Christmas, get it early. Here’s why they may not la…


For Kimberly Hodges Schoch, there’s no time on her family’s northeast Charlotte farm that’s quite like Christmas.

After Thanksgiving, families roam the Hodges Family Farm looking for the perfect Fraser fir, North Carolina’s official state Christmas tree.

This year, a Christmas tree shortage might keep some families from having that experience.

It’s a result of the recession that began nearly a decade ago, and it’s affecting tree farms nationwide. When the economy folded in 2008, demand for real Christmas trees was low, so farmers didn’t plant as many.

Now those trees are fully grown, but there are fewer of them to go around, and there are more people looking to buy real trees.

The Hodges Family Farm is only receiving half the trees they sold last Christmas, and Schoch fears the farm might run out before December.

“I don’t want to send anyone home empty-handed,” she said.

North Carolina is a major grower and exporter of Christmas trees, with the state Christmas Tree Association reporting about 1,300 growers in the state. Only Oregon exports more trees each year, according to the National…



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