Locals who waited to buy a Christmas tree might become green with envy after learning about this year's scarcity.
Tiny green pine leaves and slivers of bark stick out against the snow-covered grounds of empty Christmas tree lots. The remanence of the holiday bustle is usually seen later in the season but this year Christmas has come early.
"We don't really have anything left, to be honest."
Doug Strang is the group commissioner with the 67th Winnipeg Scout Group. Since the 1960s, volunteers and parents of scouts have been operating the Christmas tree lot. Strang says they have almost completely sold out of their 2,000 trees, despite the group having 57 years of experience and being open for less than two weeks.
"Fortunately, or unfortunately, we've been only able to operate on five out of those 10 days because we have been running out of trees," Strang says. "It is very unusual to be selling so many trees so early in the season."
Jordan Hiebert, co-owner and president of Lacoste Garden Centre says they have three different types of live Christmas trees and bring in artificial trees based on requests from the year before. This year's trees began flying off the stands well before the end of October.
"Tree sales are pretty much done because we don't really have anything left, to be honest. They started really early and yes, there is a tree shortage," Hiebert says.
Hiebert estimates that Winnipeg got 40 per cent fewer trees than usual. As of Monday afternoon, he had roughly three real dozen trees remaining and is down to the very last of their artificial trees.
"On the weekend we were taking apart our display trees."
It could be a Charlie Brown Christmas for some Manitoban families if they manage to get a tree in time.
"There are trees left in the city, it is just not a great selection. If you are picky about size, that might be difficult."
With files from Sylvia St. Cyr