Multiple Issues Cause Christmas Tree Shortage

Timothy O'Dowd, Writer

Every Christmas, families take great pride in raising their Christmas tree, whether the same fake one or a new real tree every year, the Christmas tree is a staple of the holiday season all around the world. But this year, that might not be the case.

It is common knowledge now that supply chain issues in the wake of COVID have been taking its toll on thousands of different industries, with the latest being the Christmas tree business. Tree vendors have been warning that their supply of trees will most likely not be able to meet the demands of consumers, both artificial and natural.

This coincides with vendors predicting high demand for trees this year, with people being allowed to host large celebrations now, folks are expecting to have big Christmas celebrations. 

This is not helped by the Christmas tree industry having a particularly long and difficult supply chain. From the trucks delivering trees to container ships transporting them, the whole process has become longer and more expensive.

Vendors are seeing their shipping costs increasing, in some places being 10 times more expensive. With the vendors paying more, shoppers can expect to do the same. 

Shoppers who are in the market for real trees should also worry about the effects of climate change. Most Christmas trees in the states are grown in the northwest, midwest, and from increased extreme weather events from climate change, such as wildfires and the summer heatwave that have greatly affected the tree yields this season.

The final reason for the tree shortage is a bit more convoluted, having to do with the 2008 financial crisis. The trees that are being harvested for this Christmas were planted in 2008 amid the recession, because of this, not many trees were planted during that time and now sellers are dealing with low supply.

This is not to say there will be no Christmas trees, if you go shopping around Thanksgiving you will be able to find a tree, real or fake, it will just cost more and your variety of choices will be slim.