Some Minnesota tree growers predict there could be a shortage of balsam fir Christmas trees this holiday season. An early spring followed by a cold snap in May caused damage to the species in Minnesota and other parts of the country.
Natascha Smrekar, who operates a tree farm near Guthrie in north central Minnesota, says the late frost last spring damaged many balsam fir trees on their farm. The frost caused the trees to grow unevenly through the summer, and growers had to do much more extensive trimming to make them suitable to sell.
"I think there's enough trees out there, and enough farms out there that people can find what they're looking for, but they just may have to look a little harder for it," she said. "The frost did affect everybody across the state, and it took a lot more energy to correct the problem as the trees tried to grow through the damage that happened in the spring."
That means there will be fewer balsam fir trees for sale and they may cost more. Balsam firs are one of the most popular Christmas trees for consumers.
The frost problem hit balsam fir in other parts of the country, too. Wholesalers say it was a good year for most other species of Christmas trees.