Lowcountry tree farm says not to worry about Christmas tree shortage

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – There has been concern about a national shortage of Christmas trees but experts say it may not impact your holiday decorations.

Cardinal Tree Farm said they have two full tractor-trailer loads of Christmas trees coming in every day to all of their Lowcountry locations.

Bill Parker, the Manager for Ashley Crossing Cardinal Tree Farm lot there is not an actual lack of trees, but supply chain issues such as a lack of truckdrivers are preventing trees from getting to customers.

Parker said another reason lots may seem emptier is that many are getting into the holiday spirit earlier this year.

In my opinion, I think it’s because of what we’ve been through in the last year and a half, two years with COVID. People just looking for some happy situation and Christmas brings a lot of happy things.  

Bill Parker, Manager for Ashley Crossing Lot 

Mike Julazadeh, the Chief Fire Marshal with the Charleston Fire Department said that putting out live trees earlier could be dangerous. He said that it is important to make sure your tree stays hydrated to avoid a fire hazard. You can test the tree by grabbing one of the branches; if you are left with a handful of needles, the tree is too dry.

Chief Julazadeh also said to ensure at least two inches is cut off the tree when you purchase it so that it will be able to absorb water. Frequent watering is important as well, as some trees can absorb up to a gallon.

Chief Julazadeh also said it’s best to keep trees away from heat sources such as fireplaces, and not at or near an exit.

However, it is not just live trees that can lead to house fires.  

Whether it’s a live tree or it’s an artificial tree—we are very concerned about the lighting. The lights you actually put on the tree. You want to make sure that in both scenarios, the lights are in good shape there are no broken bulbs, there’s no exposed wiring, and you want to make sure that the wiring is listed or labeled by an independent laboratory. 

Mike Julazadeh, Chief Fire Marshal CFP 

If you have a larger artificial tree that was purchased before 2010, it may not meet the current safety standards. 

When purchasing an artificial tree, Chief Julazadeh said it’s important that there is a label that states an independent testing laboratory and specifies it is either fire-retardant or fire-resistant. The lights on the trees should also have their own independent testing laboratory stickers.

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