Root Rot: Attacking Christmas Trees

A mold know as phytophthora or simply "root rot" is attacking fraser firs across the nation.

Oregon leads the nation in Christmas tree production, with Washington State also in the top five.

One study estimates the potential losses to Oregon's nursery and Chirstmas tree industry could total up to $300 million a year if root rot is not contained.

Dallas DeCoria the owner of the Family Tree Lot tells me he paid double what he paid last year for his fraser firs.  Consumers are paying about $5 more per tree, anywhere from $50 to $70 a tree

The supplier that DeCoria normally gets all of his trees from didn't even have any fraser firs for this year.

DeCoria admits the cost may continue to rise. "They'll be even fewer quantities available and consumers will have to pay more for the tree if thats what they want or it may go back to being an east coast only tree," he said.

Fraser firs are native to the east coast but they also grow in western Washington and Oregon.They differ from the other trees on the lot because they have a bluish undertone and slim at the bottom.

Dallas told me if you love the fraser fir but can't find one this year the nordman fir is a good back up.