Christmas tree shortage not in Texoma, according to farmer

By  | 

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Marshall Cathey of Elves Christmas Tree Farm says he hasn't felt the pinch other tree lots have had this year.

He says he grows 50-percent of the trees he sells on his own property and orders the rest from North Carolina and Oregon.

And when he's out of trees, he's done for the season.

"The ideal of a real tree for me is keeping Christmas real, keeping it real and stuff and supporting our American economy and supporting local farmers," said Cathey.

While prices for a good spruce or fir are soaring across the country, in Texoma, they're about the same as last year.

Marshall Cathey says his customers come from all over year after year and he wants to keep it that way.

"We just wanted to come to a farm and have the whole experience of picking out our own tree and not just going to Home Depot or whatever," said Laural Gohn, who drove from McKinney to take her kids to the tree farm.

"For us, it hasn't impacted our business because we've had a longstanding relationship with our vendors so we've been able to get what we need every year," said Cathey.

Because the draw to Cathey's farm isn't an inexpensive tree, it's the experience and atmosphere that go picking the perfect one, or even cutting it down by hand.

"Oh it's definitely worth it, you know the whole experience of it to come out here and get your own tree and the sunshine and the fresh air. The whole country farm experience is wonderful," said Gohn.

The country-wide shortage mostly stems from 2008's recession when holiday shoppers didn't have the extra bucks to spend on a Christmas tree.

Growers saw the decrease in demand and planted less trees that year.

But not Cathey.

"This year, actually, we upped orders on pre-cut trees and just had one of your biggest weekends ever that I can remember," said Cathey.

He says it's good business is booming but his main concern is keeping the tree industry -- and the Christmas spirit -- alive, even if you order it on Amazon.

"The online business I actually think is a good idea because not everyone has time to come out and get the experience of actually picking out a tree and for me personally, people getting real trees in the main item that I'd like for people to focus on," said Cathey.

Cathey's farm has another special duty.

For eight years now, they have supplied the Christmas trees for the Texas state senate and house of representatives in Austin.