Omaha-area Christmas tree farms ready for holiday rush amid national shortage

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - With Thanksgiving in the rearview, families are preparing for the next round of holidays, and for many, that means it’s time to find a Christmas tree.

But with a national Christmas tree shortage looming, there’s a way to avoid missing out on a real tree, or paying too much — local tree farms.

“This has been a busy weekend,” says Jerry Tosoni, owner at Frosty’s Pines in Fort Calhoun.

Local tree farms wait all year long for this. But some local spots have waited even longer, after keeping their gates closed in 2020 when COVID-19 took hold of the community.

“It’s been very busy, it’s been fun,” says Karen Dappen, owner of Dappen Tree Farm in Council Bluffs. “But it’s nice to be back, right. We missed it so much last year and we missed all the families that come out and share the holiday with us so this is great, it’s our favorite time of year.”

Both Dappen Tree Farm and Frosty’s Pines have been around for decades, and are vital parts of family traditions and holiday memories for so many.

“You know, it’s all for the families in the area that have said how much they appreciate us and how much they value us and that’s what makes it all worthwhile,” Dappen says.

“I’ve had sons and daughters and grandsons and daughters continue to, they came here when they were little kids and they continue to come every year and get a tree,” Tosoni adds.

Tosoni says you’re a lot less likely to see a shortage of trees when you shop at local farms like his, or like Dappen’s.

“I don’t ship in any trees so, this is all here natural trees growing and if it doesn’t sell this year it’ll still continue to grow and we’ll sell it next year,” he says.

For Dappen, purchasing and shipping trees to supplement their own crop is something they typically do to help add variety for shoppers. But that wasn’t an option this year.

“A supplier we would normally get trees from, they don’t have them, you know, there were fires in the northwest and truck shortages so they can’t bring in the trees like they would normally bring them in,” Dappen says. “So, yeah, trees are very limited right now.”

Dappen’s farm has close to 11,000 trees on their property, all of them at different stages of growth and age. This year, their crop is slightly smaller than normal, but that’s because they lost two acres of trees to a Scotch Pine disease back in 2019.

Those trees likely would have been perfect for this year’s Christmas season.

But despite this, she says there are still hundreds to choose from and says shopping locally will make a difference both for consumers and for business owners.

“I mean that’s the only reason we’re here is for our local community and that’s why it makes it fun so for families to come out and support us, we appreciate that so much,” she says.

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