At ‘world’s largest Christmas tree auction,’ fewer trees, higher prices this year

MIFFLINBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Decking the halls this year might be a bit more pricey. Christmas tree prices at a massive Pennsylvania auction are going up as sellers stock up.

Joanie Vonderhey, a Christmas tree seller from the Poconos, planned to buy up to 250 conifers Friday from the Buffalo Valley Christmas tree auction outside Mifflinburg, Union County.

There are a lot to choose from.

“This is probably all the Douglases we’re going to get,” she said, referring to the first batch of fir trees she and her family bought. “Frasier firs are now the big tree.”

But the event billed as the biggest Christmas tree auction in the world is smaller this year — a lot smaller.

“Last year, there was 85,000 trees,” Vonderhey said. “This year, there’s only 43,000.”

“Two years ago we had 90,000,” said Bill Mitchell, who works at Buffalo Valley Produce Auction and spent the day loading trees into waiting trucks. “It was too many. This is a good sale.”

Buyers from across the country are paying more for the trees the company had on hand, and you might, too.

“It’s sort of a year-by-year cycle where you go real cheap one year, then people don’t bring as much the following year,” Mark Kurtz, the auction’s office manager, said.

It’s like Black Friday in reverse.

Vonderhey is not discouraged.

“We’re going a little bit higher than we want,” she said, “but people need Christmas trees.”

Coming soon to a lot near you.

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