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Christmas Trees Will Cost Up To 30 Percent More This Year

Industry experts recommend customers start buying their trees-real or artificial-earlier this season, and expect to pay 10 to 30 percent more than last year.

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This story originally appeared on The Epoch Times

Christmas trees will be facing shortages this year, and the ones available will be priced higher as Americans go through an inflation-hit holiday season, along with supply chain shortages and the looming threat of Omicron CCP virus variant.

Industry experts recommend customers start buying their trees—real or artificial—earlier this season, and expect to pay 10 to 30 percent more than last year because of less stock and selection, according to a Newsday report.

“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, told Newsday.

Other than supply chain issues, the reasons for an increase in prices include the $1.2 trillion in savings Americans are sitting on, which most of them intend to spend on sprucing up their homes for the holidays. This has resulted in higher demand for seasonal decorations and related items.

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic has caused people to spend less in external venues like sports stadiums and movie theaters, meaning there is more disposable income that can be spent on Christmas purchases, including trees, eventually driving up demand.

The business of Christmas trees is cyclical in nature. It takes around eight to 10 years for the trees to be fully mature. Back in 2009, fewer trees were planted because of the economic recession. According to National Christmas Tree Association spokesman Doug Hundley, it is a “tight market,” rather than a shortage of trees.

There has been a reported rise in demand over the past few years, and based on estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 13.9 million Christmas trees will be cut and sold in 2021, almost 400,000 more than last year.

The data also shows that there were 2,795 Christmas tree-growing business operations in the country in January 2020, with around 118 million trees being cultivated.

One of the prominent sellers of artificial trees, Costello’s Ace Hardware, which has 38 stores, has hiked up prices almost 25 percent. The chain is currently awaiting shipments from China. Usually, the stocks are ready in stores by late October. This year, supply chain issues have pushed the Christmas merchandise toward the end of November.

Due to emergence of the Omicron variant, another round of global restrictions, including on transportation, is expected, which may have an effect on the importing of artificial Christmas trees and other festive decorations that are mostly manufactured in China.

“We’re seeing less product than normal for this time of year. Most of the growers are having the same issue we’re all experiencing as far as help and trucking,” category manager Andy Pergament told Newsday.

Darts Christmas Tree Farm in Southold, which has been in business since 1971, said that all mature trees on the farm’s eight acres have sold out, which has not happened since the business’s founding. Even trees that had not fully matured were being sold.

“Last year, they took trees that would have been our market size this year, so that’s why we have fewer big trees this year than normal,” owner Ed Dart said. 

By Naveen Athrappully

The Epoch Times

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