Still need to buy your Christmas tree this year? It’s probably going to cost you more than in Christmases past. Experts say American shoppers can expect to pay as much as 30% more for their trees this holiday season, whether they’re real or artificial.
Weather and supply chain problems have caused a double whammy for the real Christmas tree industry. Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, explains that extreme weather has hit tree growers hard as they’ve had to deal with floods, fires, smoke, and drought. She says record-breaking heat and wildfires in Oregon and Washington, the biggest tree-growing states, have led to fewer trees available this year. And adding to the problem? A shortage of truck drivers to transport them, which pushes the price up.
But going with a fake tree may not be any cheaper or easier to find. On the artificial tree side, they’re dealing with clogged ports and that lack of truck drivers, which is delaying shipments and raising costs. Caroline Tuan, chief operating officer at Balsam Hill, a major artificial Christmas tree retailer, says as a result of these challenges, their trees are about 20% more expensive this year and they have less variety to choose from. Her advice? “Shop early. If you see something you like, buy it.”