Despite strong demand for natural Christmas trees, data shows fewer farmers are growing them.
A study from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public Affairs shows there has been a 43 percent drop in the number of Christmas tree operations since 2002.
The study’s author, James Farmer, attributes much of that to the increasing age of farm owners.
“One of the questions we asked them is ‘do you intend to or will you still be planting trees five years from now?’" he says. "A significant number noted that they would probably stop planting trees.”
He says the vast majority Hoosier Christmas tree farmers receive income from other operations—one third of farms make less than $10,000 per year.