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Local Christmas tree business prepares for shopping season despite inflation and forest fires

Close-up shot of two Christmas trees, one with lights, one without lights.
Annie Spratt

With Thanksgiving now over, the season for Christmas tree shopping has finally hit Utah.

As the holiday season quickly approaches and as residents start looking for trees to decorate, local businesses such as Ault’s Christmas Trees are working against things like inflation and forest fires to meet the demand of their customers.

Leo Ault, owner of Ault’s Christmas Trees, says that since all of Oregon got burned, the supply and prices of trees have been hit drastically. Ault has been running his business for nearly 80 years thanks to help from his family, but even with their help, this year will be tricky with all these outside forces.

Because of the west coast forest fires sweeping through their original farm where they buy their trees, Ault’s Christmas Trees have had to switch vendors last-minute. Rather than receiving 200 to 300 trees, the business has only been able to receive half the amount of trees they usually receive.

But, that’s not too big of an issue considering the Ault family saws down and selects hundreds more trees for their lot each year. Ismael Olvera, who has worked for the Ault family for ten years, says that each tree has their own story and all the work put into bringing them to the lot is worth it and that the spirit behind each story is a one-of-a-kind thing.

Because of inflation, the Ault family has been forced to raise their prices to $10 to $20 more per tree than what they sold them for last year, but thankfully customers don’t mind, as it’s part of the holiday cheer. Guillermo Bustamante takes his children to the Ault lot each year and that the higher prices don’t impact his decision to get a real Christmas tree for the holiday.

According to Ault, the business has seen a successful first weekend even with all these odds stacked against them. Ault says that he’d like to have his lifeline keep the tree lot going for years to come, hoping the experience of shopping for the perfect Christmas tree continues to bring joy to Utah families.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.