Longtime Tamaqua tree farm closed this holiday season
Tory and Audrey Graver, owners, gather in the main retail area that’s been depleted at Graver’s Tree Farm in Tamaqua. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS
Due to low inventory, a longtime tree farm in Tamaqua has announced it won’t be open for retail sales this holiday season.
Graver’s Tree Farm, located at 841 Dairy Road, will be closed for the 2018 holiday season, according to owner Tory Graver, who posted the information on their website.
“After 41 years of growing Christmas trees for retail sales, I am saddened to announce Graver’s Tree Farm will not be opening the tree fields or wreath shop for retail sales this 2018 holiday season,” Graver said. “Our farm is undergoing transformation and regrowth, and unfortunately does not have the inventory available to maintain our retail sales at this time.”
Graver added, “Because my family operated the farm since before I was born, I have never known a Christmas season to not include seeing all of our loyal customers and friends coming for their perfect tree.”
“Know that you have influenced my life greatly, and I am forever thankful for your continued support,” he said. “I look forward to reconnecting with you again one day.”
Graver said that due to the rain, the business lost a lot of trees.
“The problem is since we’ve been building the barn, all the closest patches of trees were depleted,” he said. “This year, the rain has been catastrophic on not only the tree farm, but also the corn and the grain farmers as well.”
Graver said the overabundance of rain has affected all tree farmers.
“I would believe other local tree farmers have depleted stock as well,” he said. “The tree industry is a real tough business.”
Despite not being open for retail sales, Graver said the cupboard isn’t completely bare.
“I’m going to continue selling wholesale,” he said. “I have lots of trees in the ground.”
Graver noted that he also has a barn wedding business, the Barn at Graver’s Tree Farm, as well as a landscape company, Graver’s Landscape Design LLC.
“We’ve gotten a lot of notoriety with our barn wedding business, which is a good thing,” he said. “The tree farm and the barn wedding and landscape company is symbiotic.”
Will the business ever get back to retail sales?
“It’s a sad day for me right now; it’s a real tough thing to give up, hard on me, hard on my family,” he said. “I’m not guaranteeing I’ll be back, and I’m not guaranteeing that I won’t.”
Graver said that in 1985, his late father, Terry, fell from a tree and broke his neck. Since then, Graver said that he, his older brothers Troy and Kiel, and his sister Kara, have run the business.
“He ended his farming at 33,” he said. “And I ended my farming at 33.”