Christmas tree shortage effecting prices, supply locally

During the 2008 Recession, the last concern on people’s minds were Christmas trees. So there was a glut of trees left and growers didn’t plant any new ones for three or four years.

Then after 2013, folks started buying trees again, but trees weren’t fully grown.

Now, 10 years later, there’s a shortage of the really big trees like 12-14 feet. Those customers have to downsize to a nine to 10 foot tree.

National Tree and Shrub general manager Richard Devine  said shoppers who like five to six feet trees are having to buy a six to seven foot tree because growers are holding on to the smaller ones to get the bigger tree supply back up in several years.

He said the supply of Christmas trees in Southeast Texas is “pretty bad”.

“Since we normally get three or four truckloads of trees, so far, we’ve only got two full truckloads. We’ve gotten about 1,000 trees. We were hoping to have about 1,500 trees,” said Devine.

He said for high-quality trees, the volume isn’t there.

And, when it comes to pricing, Devine said prices reflect the shortage.

“We’ve probably seen about a 10 percent increase across the board. I think that they’re probably about as high as they can get right now. I don’t think they can go up much more,” said Devine.

He added two more issues:

  • Christmas tree farmer’s families don’t want to follow in the families footsteps, which is causing farms to shut down adding to the shortage issues.
  • Amazon is delivering trees in boxes to people’s doorsteps, which is hurting the tree sellers.

He said growers estimate this shortage will continue through 2021.

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