Buy Christmas trees early amid high demand, McLean garden shop advises

Fairfax County residents looking for a new Christmas tree should still be able to find an evergreen for the holiday — for now.

Four Seasons Flower Market (6808 Elm Street) in McLean is just one of the local vendors where people can get holiday trees. Its lot was filled with trees as of yesterday (Tuesday), but a worker there expected them to sell out by mid-December.

Sellers across the country say interest in live trees has been high during another Christmas amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Anyone who wants one this holiday should make plans to purchase one very soon,” Michael Wallace, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said in an email.

The National Christmas Tree Association reported that last year, tree buyers tended to be younger than usual, urban areas saw an increase in purchases, and sales occurred earlier than they typically did.

While news outlets have reported a tree shortage, suggesting supply-chain issues are at play, one horticulture expert calls a “Christmas tree apocalypse” unlikely.

“Unlike toilet paper in the spring of 2020, real Christmas trees will not disappear,” Michigan State University horticulture professor Bert Cregg wrote.

The total number of Christmas trees cut has declined from 17.4 million in 2007 to less than 15.1 million in 2017, according to Census of Agriculture data, which was last released in 2019. The U.S. Department of Agriculture survey attributes the drop to fewer farms being in the business, with less acreage overall devoted to growing Christmas trees.

Industry statistics indicate that artificial tree sales have gone up in recent years, providing competition.

Beyond Four Seasons, the Tysons area and Fairfax County in general have several options for buying Christmas trees, including Merrifield Garden Center, DePaul’s Urban Farm in Vienna, and Meadows Farms, which has a nursery in Seven Corners.

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna opened a tree sale lot in the Giant Foods shopping center on Maple Avenue on Saturday (Nov. 27), and Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd.) in McLean will use proceeds from its tree sales to support its Scouts and youth programs.

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