With Christmas around the corner, businesses selling natural trees are preparing for a big crush of customers in the days to come.
Mike Kisiloski is with Country Pines Tree Farm in Tyndall, Man. and grows acres of trees. He is preparing for an avalanche of customers and will likely need just a few days to sell out.
“The lineup goes from here to the highway,” said Kisiloski.
It wasn’t always that way though. When Kisiloski first opened back in 1992, he didn’t have customers growing on trees.
“The tree’s got bigger and bigger and bigger and before you know it, I had to cut down them down as firewood,” he said, but he noted there was more competition back then.
“There used to be 14 tree farms in the area, and now there’s only about four.”
Ray Dubois, the president of Ron Paul Garden Centre, found out how tight the Christmas tree supply chain can be in 2019 when his supplier suddenly couldn’t send him trees anymore.
“I was on the phone for about 10 to 14 days and I contacted every single farm in Canada and upper U.S. I even went down so far as like North Carolina, South Carolina,” said Dubois.
There were none available in Manitoba, either. Luckily, he was able to find a supplier in Quebec and says he won’t have any problem serving his customers this year.
Still, he only has so many trees.
“You can’t just, you know, turn up the tree making machine. It’s just doesn’t happen.”
Kilioski knows that first hand. He says it can take a full decade to grow a large Christmas tree and it’s a lot of work year round.
He and Dubois say now is a perfect time to get a good, healthy tree and that it will make it until January.
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