(WHTM) — It was inevitable, as everything in high demand turns into shortages. The latest? Christmas trees.
The tree crop is smaller than usual this year at tree farms across the nation.
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“Right now on the farm, this is representative of what we have,” said Brian Keeton, a Christmas tree farmer, said. Keeton adds that hot summers, drought, and then flooding rains in recent years have stunted their rows of fir trees.
“We’re a little thin, we have fewer than what we would like,” Keeton said.
He also brings in pre-cut live trees from Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, but say the same trucking issues hitting grocery stores are cutting those supplies, too.
“With the precut trees, there is a national shortage. So there are fewer quantity of trees, with higher demand, and then the shipping issues are complicating it a little more,” Keeton added.
Tree farms say it does not matter if consumers are looking to cut their own tree or purchase a pre-cut one. Either way, they are probably going to face higher prices.
“So they have been definitely been going up the past 3 years, and this year is higher than ever before,” Keeton said. He adds that the days of $25 live trees are gone. Instead, expect to pay $50 or more for a nice six-foot tree.
Sure, people can buy an artificial tree. But Balsam Hill, a top seller, warns those prices are up 20% this year. Keeton’s advice? Don’t try to find the perfect live tree. Even if it looks like Charlie Brown’s tree decorating it will hide most imperfections.
“You can put a larger ornament there. I haven’t seen an ugly decorated tree yet,” Keeton added.
Prices too high? Buy a smaller tree and place it on a table so you don’t waste your money.