Christmas tree growers warn of higher prices: ‘Inflation impacts absolutely everything’
Christmas tree growers are warning that their prices will inflate this year due to economic instability and environmental conditions.
“Because inflation impacts absolutely everything, the industry is seeing increases in shipping costs, fertilizer, trucking, everything you can possibly think of, whether it be real or artificial trees. So I think consumers can expect to see anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent increases across the board on artificial and live Christmas trees this year,” American Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Jami Warner told “Good Morning America” on Friday.
Inflated prices may not be the only hurdle the Christmas tree industry faces this holiday season — the variety of trees available will likely be smaller than usual.
“People are used to abundance and choice — and again, the choices will be limited, but choose the tree that fits your lifestyle the best, be it real or artificial,” said Warner.
Some Christmas tree farms may even run out of trees, so experts suggest that shoppers purchase a tree sooner rather than later.
“If you want to shop the Christmas tree farm, you really have to go early,” National Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Tim O’Connor told GMA.
“They’re popular and they will sell out. They have whatever trees they have available for that season and then they’re done. And they have been selling out every year early.”
Nonetheless, O’Connor, whose company supplies trees annually to the White House and the vice president’s residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory, says that he expects prices to range enough that “every family” will be able to buy one.
“If you really are concerned about price, you know, yes, it won’t be the most beautiful tree on the lot perhaps, but there’ll be a tree that fits your price range, that when you bring it home, you’ll enjoy it in your home,” he said.
Woody Woodruff, the owner of Kadee Farm in Greenville, Texas, told “Good Morning America” that environmental conditions have already affected his Christmas tree supply.
A drought that began earlier this year destroyed 1,000 of Woodruff’s Virginia pine trees, and he says that the loss in inventory is common among farms in the South.
“There’s some tree growers that are all down in those states that experienced drought conditions and therefore it’s going to be a little more difficult to get the trees that we needed,” Woodruff said.
Woodruff and other tree farmers have experienced financial tolls this year, meaning that their trees could be up to 30 percent more expensive.
“We all use diesel fuel or gasoline, that was more expensive this year,” Woodruff said.
“Our fertilizers, some of them more than doubled this year. And so that really took a toll … and that was nationwide. So that took a toll on anybody that is in the farming industry trying to grow Christmas trees.”
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