Allardt’s Sycamore Springs Farms 2021 Christmas tree crop is set up to be a good one, but that may not be the case across the Upper Cumberland.
Co-Owner Lyna Pennycuff said that prepping for the year’s crop takes place seven to eight years in advance. She said that conditions from that time period might create a shortage this year.
“First we had a drought, a real dry season, then we had a real cold season and we had a late spring frost,” Pennycuff said. “So with those factors combined, about seven or eight years ago, they all worked together to provide us a tree shortage about right now.”
Pennycuff said that most farmers in the area were not too badly affected by those conditions. She said that another issue farmers face is trying to predict client-base and their desired tree types.
“With us, we had several years where we were open and not many people knew about it so there were a few years where we were planting more trees than we were selling. So we had a surplus of trees so we pulled back and didn’t plant as many and now that people know where we are and that this is the most wonderful to get your Christmas tree we could use a few extra years of planting and so we’re making up for it now and that will show up in a few years in the future. It’s all about planning and planting.”
Pennycuff said the best conditions for Christmas tree growth are having adequate rain and not too much heat. She said that the best Christmas trees in the Upper Cumberland are the native trees, including white pine, scotch pine, Norway spruce, and Leland Cyprus. Pennycuff said America’s most popular tree is the Frasier Fir, but those do not do as well in this area.