The peak of the shipping season for Christmas trees has arrived.
Christmas tree farmers in Oregon's Willamette Valley are optimistic about this year's harvest. An oversupply of Christmas trees, which began to take hold in 2005, made it rough going for tree growers for many years.
The market has finally cycled through the overabundance, so growers expect to see a small increase in wholesale prices.
Oregon is the nation's leading Christmas tree producer. An estimated 6.4 million Christmas trees were harvested in the state in 2012.
Christmas trees planted seven to nine years ago are headed to buyers this season.
California is the top domestic market for trees grown in the Northwest. About 45 percent of the Oregon and Washington harvest is shipped to California.
Mexico takes most of the Oregon trees certified for foreign export. About 23 percent of Oregon-grown Douglas fir Christmas trees are shipped to Mexico.