Live Christmas tree shortage in Las Cruces

December 24, 2012 • State News

Jose Ramirez of Guzman’s Garden Center Color Your World in Las Cruces, N.M. unloads a new batch of fresh, live Christmas trees at the store Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 where they, among all other retailers in Las Cruces, have sold out of cut Christmas trees this season. (AP Photo/Las Cruces Sun-News, Shari V. Hill)

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Where have all the Christmas trees gone?

Apparently all the live, cut tannenbaums are in the houses of other people.

That’s right, if you procrastinated or if you just like to put your tree up closer to Christmas, you’re probably out of luck.

“We were the last ones (in town) to have them, but they were gone by Monday,” said Kevin Quinn of Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“We did (have them) but we sold out,” [auth] Gary Guzman of Color Your World Greenhouse, said.

“We sold at least 800,” said Diane Lucero of Home Depot who confirmed that her store does not have any more. “We get a lot of calls.”

“We don’t have any more,” said the person who answered the phone at Walmart on Valley Drive.

Jackye Meinecke owns Enchanted Gardens nursery in Las Cruces.

“I’m hearing that they are sold out all over town,” Meinecke said. “I think what has happened is (stores) have all pulled back (their orders). You don’t make money on them unless you sell them all. They’ve probably ordered less.”

Guzman, though, said he actually had more trees this year and they still all were sold.

Quinn said the pace of sales at Lowe’s was about the same as past years.

“Most people set up trees about two weeks (before Christmas) on average,” he said. “But they do start buying right after Thanksgiving.”

“My parents bought a fake tree this year because everywhere was sold out of real trees. And it is just not the same,” James Diaz said on the Las Cruces Sun-News Facebook page.

Dawn Santiago said she got her tree just under the wire.

“It seemed as if everyone was sold out by early Sunday afternoon,” she said. “We got ours at Lowe’s and they only had about 10 trees left, all small ones.”

Terri Allison said she looked for two weekends for a live tree.

“I finally found one at Home Depot,” she said. “I thought I’d have to drive up to the Lincoln National Forest to cut one down because I literally went to every store in town with a parking lot, no trees.”

There are still live trees available, those that are potted and intended to be planted later.

“We still have potted trees,” Guzman said. “They actually are a good desert tree, they grow large.”

Phil Archer of Archer Farms near La Mesa said that he used to sell cut trees but does not anymore. He sells potted trees, though.

“We’ve got 5- to 6-foot, 15-gallon trees,” he said. “They’re $45 bucks a piece, pretty reasonable.”

People can also still buy artificial trees.

“We have pre-lit trees available,” Quinn said. “Our Christmas stuff has already been reduced.”

Home Depot, Walmart and Big Lots are some of the stores that still have artificial trees available.

Ho, ho, ho.

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