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‘Town Crier’ – Briefs from the Region (2) – 12/5/19

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State Christmas tree market thriving despite national shortage

The years of the Great Recession yielded an unexpected consequence for the present—a national shortage of Christmas trees, according to KPAX. That’s because given the time requisite to mature into a sellable asset, many Christmas tree farmers abstained from planting and nurturing new saplings for fear of tying up too much of their resources in the time between planting and harvest. With increases in demand and decrease in supply, prices have jumped to record highs: the National Christmas Tree Association reports the average price for a tree in 2008 was $36, and 2018 saw an average cost of $78. For Montanans, the proximity to national forests and the ability for tree farmers to access that resource, has kept prices and supply at steadier levels. In the Custer Gallatin National Forest, for example, a $5 permit is all it takes to harvest one on your own.

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