PEA RIDGE, Ark, (KNWA) — This year, farmers across the U.S. are dealing with a shortage of Christmas Trees. Some retailers had a tough job with production but that was not the case for the Wonderland Tree Farm in Pea Ridge. The farm was packed with trees and families to claim them opening weekend.
Finding the right Christmas tree is a family affair for Caley Vo. “Well this is kind of a tradition for us, we’ve been doing this for about four years and the kids love to come out and cut trees. My son loves to cut the tree down himself, he gets to use the saw and my daughters like to have the hot chocolate afterward,” Vo said.
There are more than 20,000 trees across the farm and picking the right tree is not an easy task. Vo leaves the picking to his children. His daughter said she likes a tree that has a sturdy top for a star.
Owner of Wonderland Tree Farm, Martin Babb said the shortage did not impact him but he had some challenges. “A year ago it was so dry we had to irrigate 24 hours a day– we lost some trees at that time, that’s why we planted 9,000 trees. We don’t anticipate a shortage any time soon,” Babb said.
Babb started planting trees back in 2009. He said the cost to grow the evergreens increases every year but he calls it a labor of love. “It went up a couple of bucks this year. Two to three bucks on the cut trees. The Frasers, our supplier they went up pretty good.”
Trees at the farm can cost anywhere from $45 to $190 depending on its height and size. Once a family choses a tree all of the dead needles are shaken off, the trees are netted and properly secured on your car.
“We like to think that we’re not selling trees so much as we’re selling memories. That’s the whole thing, Christmas is a family thing and you just want to have a good time with your family,” said Babb.
Beyond the trees, families can also ride the hayride, write letters to Santa and buy hand made ornaments in the gift shop.