Christmas tree shortage hits annual retailers especially hard this year

    Arlington, VA – The Christmas tree shortage has been going on for five or six years but this year has been by far the worst, a Christmas tree retailer told Fox News.

    “We’ve been impacted big time,” Almost Heavenly Christmas Trees owner Matthew Gallery said, leading him to go to great lengths to get trees this season.

    “Our primary supplier that we work with could only supply us about half the trees that we needed. So I ended up going to a tree auction in Pennsylvania, and we had to buy about half of our trees from there… the auction prices were more than double what they were last year,” Gallery told Fox News. The prices Gallery paid for the trees were about what their retail prices had previously been.

    For the consumer, this means “prices are much higher,” Gallery told Fox News. “It’s frustrating to have to do all this extra work to find the trees,”

    In addition, the “uncertainty” and being unable to “give all of our customers the high-quality products that we’re used to giving them,” has also been frustrating, Gallery said. The Christmas tree retailer also explained that buying from an auction means it’s unclear when all the trees were cut, which can result in trees not “lasting very well.” 

    Christmas trees are displayed for customers at a sidewalk store in Manhattan on December 9 in New York City. Many Christmas tree sellers are calling this season the tightest supply of Christmas trees in years.
    Getty Images

    Gallery felt the tree shortage originally stemmed from the financial crisis, which led farmers to retire or not plant trees. 

    Impacts from infestations, pests, and smaller businesses being squeezed out by Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart, are all factors Gallery attributed to this “perfect storm.”

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