Wreath makers are feeling the holiday crunch this year thanks to climate change
Wreath makers in Vermont are in the thick of the pre-Thanksgiving rush. Last year, a late first frost made trouble for the industry. But one seller in the Northeast Kingdom says things are looking much better this year.
People have been making wreaths in Vermont for a long time. It's a good way to earn some extra cash when the growing season slows down.
A lot of customers want wreaths by Thanksgiving. But as human caused climate change pushes the first frost back, it's making it hard for the industry to meet its deadlines.
That's because Balsam fir trees don't set their needles until after the first hard frost. This year, it came on Halloween — still late, but better than last year.
The freeze-free part of the year in Vermont is now about a week longer on average than it was in the 1970s.
Peggy Day Gibson owns Northeast Kingdom Balsam in Glover:
"You know, I'm collecting wreaths and they all look wonderful. And the brush looks great. And the fact that it got cold and stayed cold and we had continuous frost, hard frost — that was good," Day Gibson says.
"If it was cut Nov. 1 or later, the brush looks great. And in fact, all the rain this summer made the brush pretty good," Day Gibson says.
Still, Thanksgiving falls early this year, and Peggy says that means makers and sellers like her are feeling crunched for time to meet their customers' demand.
Day Gibson says fewer people are making wreaths than in past decades, which can also make it hard to meet customer demand.
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