By Andrea Nakano

ALAMEDA (KPIX) — The pandemic has forced many of us to change the way we celebrate the holidays this year but one yearly tradition though is more popular than ever. Christmas tree farms are struggling to keep up with the demand.

At Speer Family Farms Wonderland, even though they have rows of trees on the lot, they say the stock has never been this low, this early. It’s a record breaking year for many tree farms in the area.

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No problem finding a home for the holidays for Christmas trees in this year. For some, the tree represents a less stressful point in time when the world was COVID-free.

“I’m just trying to get some Christmas spirit going on in the house for the kids. With everything going on we need some type of happiness right,” said Milly Finch of Alameda.

That search for happiness is putting a smile on the faces of many tree sellers in the Bay Area.

Tommy Speer with Wonderland Christmas Trees says, “I would say our phones started ringing off the hook two weeks prior to Thanksgiving and that’s never happened in our 11 years of being in business.”

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Wonderland Christmas Trees estimates it has sold 1,400 trees already this season, which is a 65 percent increase from last year. Only a few dozen trees remained on the lot Tuesday. Nate Behrans with Wonderland Christmas Trees says, “This is low stock, literally bottom of the barrel stock.”

Many tree farms have had to shut down for the season, after selling out all their trees just days into December. A few factors can be in play here. The 4th year of the Christmas tree shortage and the Oregon fires. But Tommy Speer has no doubt, COVID has had the biggest impact.

“I think the big question is will this equate to higher numbers overall or is it just going to stack in the beginning and it’s going to be close to the same amount of people that are buying,” adds Speer.

Finch is just glad she came in time to bring a tree home for her two kids.

“I think we are just all holding out to a little bit of hope and happiness,” she says.

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The stock maybe low on the lot but the good news is a new shipment of trees came in Tuesday night. They are expected to sell out quickly as well and they may shut down the lot early this year.