Expect to pay more for Christmas trees, experts say

A shopper passes by a display of Christmas trees outside the main entrance to a grocery store, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in southeast Denver. Add Christmas trees to the list of items facing shortages and higher prices this year. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (AP) — Add Christmas trees to the list of items facing shortages and higher prices this year.

Several factors are driving the trend, Newsday reported, including over-the-top sales last year during the first Christmas during the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues this year.

Experts said tree buyers should expect to pay between 10% and 30% more for both live trees and artificial trees this year and also have a smaller selection to choose from.

“Prices have gone up significantly," John Mohlenhoff, secretary of the hook and ladder company for the Huntington fire department, told the newspaper. "We’ve had to compromise on what types of trees we’re getting, sizes, everything.”

The Huntington fire department sold out its trees in 48 hours last year in what is normally a week-long fundraising sale, Mohlenhoff said. This year, prices have been raised about $5, the first time that's been done in a decade. The department has had to pay higher prices to the farm in Pennsylvania that supplies the trees.

Darts Christmas Tree Farm in Southold sold out of mature trees last year for the first time in 50 years, and also sold many that weren't mature yet, leaving the farm with fewer large trees this year, owner Ed Dart said.

Several factors are at work. Farmers struggling after the economic recession in 2009 planted fewer trees for several years, and demand has been rising in the last several years, experts told Newsday. It takes eight to 10 years for a tree to reach maturity.

Shipments of artificial trees have been delayed this year due to supply chain issues including a shortage of truck drivers to make deliveries.

“Some of the major retailers say they have about 43 percent of their inventory right now when it should be closer to 70 percent at this time of the year,” Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents Christmas tree retailers, told the newspaper.

Costello’s Ace Hardware, which sells artificial trees at 22 locations on Long Island, has raised prices as much as 25 percent, category manager Andy Pergament told the newspaper. The chain normally has Christmas merchandise set up in stores by late October but is still waiting for some artificial trees being shipped from China that are supposed to arrive next week, he said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(3) comments

C.D.Reid

As an adult, I had a Christmas tree in '73, and I believe one around '04 or so, and that's it.

MD1756

Save the trees and go plastic. I still have our artificial tree from the 1960s (our father and brother were allergic to some degree to VOCs or pollen produced by the evergreen trees).

public-redux

Persecution!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!