OREGON CITY, OR (KPTV) - An historic Christmas tree farm won't be open this year for tree-cutting season.
Kirchem Farm closed this season due to a shortage of fully grown Christmas trees.
If you look around the farm, you'll see lots of potential Christmas trees. But there's just one problem.
"It's probably six feet to the tip or little under, and it's not very full," Kirchem Farm Co-Owner, Cher Tollefson, said.
Many of the trees aren't ready yet to be adorned with ornaments and sit in living rooms.
"This tree's tall enough, but it also needs to fill out, it needs to be a little more full up here," Tollefson said, showing FOX 12 the trees. "And if you look around they're kind of all that way."
For the first time in nearly 30 years, families won't be able to choose their favorite tree at the historic farm.
"Our trees just need a year to catch up," Tollefson said.
Tollefson says the shortage is due to a couple of factors, including a seedling shortage in the mid 2000s and scorching summers.
"We couldn't get seedlings," Tollefson said. "And then when we started to be able to buy them again, we bought them and invested in the planting and everything, and then the summer heat, we've had really hot dry summers, so we lost a lot of seedlings."
Tollefson says she knows their farm is not the only one impacted by the shortage. She says this is already impacting prices as customers can expect to pay at least $25 more than what they typically pay for a Christmas tree.
She says next year, who knows how it will impact prices.
The decision, to close, she says, was a difficult one.
"I'm sorry everybody," Tollefson said. "We love our customers. We have wonderful people that have been coming here for the whole time their kids are growing up. So it's just what it is and I don't have answers about what'll happen but you know we'll have some trees next year."
The farm does plan to open next winter for Christmas tree sales again, but then they'll have to close sometime down the line in order to give some of the other trees some time to grow.
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