Busy season leaves Rockingham County Christmas tree farm with low supply next year
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - It was another busy season for the Ostlund Christmas Tree Farm in Rockingham County. Usual customers came by, but so did others who looked to start a new tradition with a real Christmas tree.
“I always greet the customers and ask them right away, ‘Have you been here before?’” Buffy Ostlund, the owner of the tree farm, said. “A lot of people responded, ‘We came last year and we had such a good time last year, we’re back again.’”
With Christmas Day almost here, the Ostlund Christmas Tree Farm fields are now filled with tree stump after tree stump.
“Our biggest single day was the Friday right after Thanksgiving. Our biggest Saturday and Sunday were also the weekend after Thanksgiving, so the whole market seems to have shifted forward a bit,” Ostlund said.
Ostlund has noticed the excitement customers have to get a Christmas tree earlier over the last two to three years. She said the days following Thanksgiving used to be some of their slowest.
The busy weekends continued throughout December. With a limited supply of trees this year, Ostlund said people needed to look harder for the trees that they wanted, but many didn’t mind.
“I spent a lot of time explaining to people that we only had a limited height in trees left, and most people said, ‘I don’t really care. I’m okay with a shorter tree this year,’” she said.
The Christmas tree farm decided to stay open, despite the short supply, knowing it may cause trouble in the coming seasons. Ostlund said their fields are filled with trees that will be too short to cut next season, so they might need to call in reinforcements.
“We are going to need our customers to compromise of actually cutting down their own tree and we will continue to look for ways to enhance their experience once they come out here,” Ostlund said.
It takes about 10 years for a tree to mature, she said, so it may be several years until their fields are full again.
The Ostlund Christmas Tree Farm also brought back its Heartland Christmas Market for the second year in a row, which was a success. It featured local artisans and vendors for two weekends this year. She said they plan to bring the market back again next year, with some new additions.
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