Business

Still pining for a Christmas tree? Most places are sold out

Tree farms largely sold out, but some trees still at garden centers

The events barn is seen at Kacena Farm in Vinton on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. The farm sold about 400 Christmas trees and
The events barn is seen at Kacena Farm in Vinton on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. The farm sold about 400 Christmas trees and had its best year ever for tree sales, a manager said. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — With only a few days left until the holiday, the vast majority of the area’s tree farms have sold out of Christmas trees and are closed for the season, but garden centers still have some for last-minute shoppers.

Dan Hoffman, who with his wife, Deb, owns Hoffman Tree Farm in Marion, said the business sold most of its trees in just the first three days of the season.

“We opened Black Friday and that weekend had good weather,” he said. “There’s just not enough Christmas tree farms around Cedar Rapids.”

Just west in Benton County, the Kacena Farm in Vinton had its best year ever for tree sales, according to business manager Alyce Lynch.

“We sold out a couple weekends ago,” Lynch said. “We sold more than 400 trees this year. We had a couple that drove an hour and a half to come to our farm.”

Janelle Brehm, nursery manager at Culver’s Garden Center and Greenhouse in Marion, said as of Monday morning, the center had 10 live Christmas trees left.

“We got 194 trees this year,” Brehm said. “Some people got into the holiday season early because of COVID, plus the nice weather earlier this season helped with sales, too. Even if people can’t have get-togethers, people still want to decorate and celebrate.”

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Earl May Garden Center, which has two locations in Cedar Rapids, had some Christmas trees available as well.

Shelle Youngblut, assistant manager of the north location at 5155 Northland Ave NE., said the store had about 50 of its green-cut trees left. It had 250 trees at the start of the season.

“We saw quite a few people before Thanksgiving,” she said. “I think people were worried that trees were going to be gone.”

She added she thinks tree sales are down there due to the effects of this year’s calamities.

“People are trying to put food on the table,” she said. “We’ve sold quite a bit of smaller greenery versus the trees. I think people are thinking to go a little smaller due to not having people over for Christmas, so they’re sprucing things up with the smaller greenery.”

Youngblut’s daughter, Heather, is the store manager at the south store location at 1200 Edgewood Rd. SW.

Heather Youngblut said the south location had only about 25 trees left as of Monday morning. The store started with 143 trees at the beginning of the season.

“There aren’t a ton of people that come out this close to Christmas, but it’s also not uncommon,” she said.

She added that the south location has also sold smaller garland this season, but that tends to go as fast as the trees.

“You have to come early to get the best pick of the litter,” she said.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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