Strolling among rows of Douglas and noble firs searching for the perfect Christmas tree at the YMCA lot in South Pasadena has been a holiday tradition spanning generations of San Gabriel Valley families.
But this year, for the first time in five decades, the South Pasadena-San Marino YMCA will not be selling trees as a holiday fundraiser after the organization was unable to find a supplier with enough high-quality stock.
“We have families that I know this year are going to come to us and be disappointed,” Executive Director Rick Politte said.
The Christmas tree industry took a turn a decade ago when the Great Recession hit and growers started planting fewer trees. For California, the problem has been exacerbated as growers in the Pacific Northwest — where most of California’s Christmas trees are grown — moved away from planting pines in favor of more lucrative crops like hazelnuts and, in some cases, marijuana.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.