The drought is having an effect on Christmas as pine trees have not been able to reach their height, causing a statewide shortage.
The Christmas Tree Man, a commercial tree farm in Wingello, supplies pine trees to Wagga’s Sunrise Rotary Club.
Barbara Boag works at the farm and she said most people have run out of their Christmas trees.
“There is a big shortage due to the drought and the trees just haven’t grown to the height,” Ms Boag said.
“The numbers will be lower than previous years because we can’t supply the number of trees needed to meet people’s demands.”
The trees take about four to five years to grow and Ms Boag said they require “full-time care” for pruning so that they are ready to be cut and end up in someone’s home.
Ron Grampy from Grampy’s Christmas Trees, a smaller Christmas tree farm in the Southern Highlands, said he has been unable to grow big trees due to the lack of rain.
“I’ve sold no big trees this year and I’ve heard the Lithgow area is also witnessing a shortage,” he said.
The Rotary’s Christmas tree distributor Dave O’Grady said despite the shortage, there should be enough to go around when they set up in the Bunnings car park this Saturday and Sunday mornings.
“It’s a growing market and every year we sell all trees; I’m expecting that we sell about 170 trees this weekend, assuming I can get them,” Mr O’Grady said.
“Because of the drought there is a shortage but I’m positive that I can get enough trees to meet the market.”
Mr O’Grady said many people “appreciate the beauty” of a natural tree as opposed to artificial ones.
“People who have had trees years ago and were brought up on real trees appreciate the beauty of them, especially the smell as they walk into a room,” he said.
“Why have a fake one when you can have the real thing?”
Profits from the trees sold by the Sunrise Rotary Club are donated for medical equipment nominated by the Wagga Base Hospital.
The Rotary have been supplying the Christmas trees for five years and Denise Flockton has been buying them since.
“I like the aroma of the tree the idea of having a real Christmas tree,” Mrs Flockton said.
“Before the club started doing it I had an artificial tree and I tried to find one that looked a bit real, but that is almost impossible.
“We had real trees when I was a child and when I first got married but it’s also a way to support the club.”
Mrs Flockton said this year’s tree is a bit shorter than previous years, but it does not phase her.
“Artificial ones are a lot easier, so I’ll probably get an artificial tree when I get sick of cleaning up the mess afterwards,” she said.