Christmas tree supply ‘unlimited’ in NJ this season
Most of New Jersey's Christmas tree farms will open to the public for the 2017 season on the day after Thanksgiving.
And while trees may be in short supply elsewhere in the United States, you'll have plenty of spruce, pine and fir to choose from in New Jersey.
"Our supply of trees is excellent," said John Benton, owner of Spruce Goose Christmas Tree Farm in Chesterfield.
About 15,000 trees are growing on site. Most are in the popular 5-to-8-foot range, but some are as tall as 17 feet.
"We have people who have a big foyer area within their homes," Benton said.
Spruce Goose will receive a visit on Monday from New Jersey's Secretary of Agriculture to officially launch the start of choose-and-cut Christmas tree season in the Garden State. The Burlington County farm was named champion tree grower for its Douglas fir presented at an annual contest over the summer.
According to Donna Cole, executive secretary of the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, there are currently at least 150 Christmas tree farms in New Jersey. One of the state's largest spans 400 acres; some are as small as 20 acres.
A number of farms shut down operations in years past, mainly due to an economic downturn that forced consumers to opt for an artificial tree or pick a pre-cut tree at a pop-up shop or big box store.
"Right now in New Jersey, our supplies are unlimited," Cole said. "Nobody sells every tree they have on their farm. A small farm might have 2,000 trees and sell 200."
The price structure for purchasing a tree can vary by farm. While some charge by the foot, others have a standard price for a cut and haul, no matter the tree's size.
Cole said keeping your tree in water is key to making it last through the holiday season. And don't whittle the outer edges of the tree in order to help it fit in a stand; those outer edges help the tree absorb the water you're feeding it.