Get ready for a Christmas tree shortage, as supply chain issues and climate change team up

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  • Supply chain crises and climate change are causing a shortage of Christmas trees, both real and artificial, this year.
  • Quantities will be less and prices will be higher than normal.
  • Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree Company, a top importer and wholesaler of artificial Christmas trees and holiday decorations, said, “Demand is going to be extremely strong this year and so I think from a consumer perspective, people are definitely not waiting. should do.”

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Want to buy a Christmas tree this year? Asking Santa to bring you one may just make you luckier.

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Christmas tree sellers say they will have fewer trees for sale this holiday season due to supply chain troubles and the double whammy of climate change.

According to vendors, shortfall in supply as compared to expected demand will hit the markets for both natural and artificial trees.

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Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree Company, a top importer and wholesaler of artificial Christmas trees and holiday decorations, said, “Demand is going to be extremely strong this year and so I think from a consumer perspective, people are definitely not waiting. should do.”

“Consumers should be buying now because by the time we get to Thanksgiving, which is a peak week for us, I think there’s going to be a lot of empty shelves. We’re already seeing pretty strong growth compared to last year.” And so, I think we’re in a big, big season this year.”

Butler said the steady increase in consumer spending on household goods during the pandemic, overall fatigue from two years of Covid-19, as well as large gatherings due to vaccinations this winter were indicators of higher demand this season.

“If you see something you like, buy it,” advises Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association. Warner explained that ongoing supply chain disruptions have particularly affected artificial trees, which are mostly imported from Asia and take longer than usual to arrive in the US.

“This year the quantity will be less than normal and of course the consumer will have to bear the brunt of higher prices. They will not be much, but they will be higher,” he said.

The world’s supply chain – a connective tissue for commerce – is under pressure from rising consumer demand, labor shortages and overseas manufacturing delays. Supply chain disruptions, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, have increased freight costs, delivery times and inflation.

Cheryl Druehl, a supply chain specialist, explained, “The goal of a supply chain is to get the right products in the right place at the right time, in the right place. If there’s a disruption, one of those things isn’t happening.” Professor at George Mason University’s School of Business.

“Our supply chain is quite long and has always been vulnerable but the pandemic has made this more apparent. We had shutdowns around the world at different times which caused significant delays and shortages and now production has recovered, Ports, logistics and trucking are all emphasized,” Druhl said.

Butler said he pays for thousands of shipping containers each year to move products from manufacturing facilities in China to the United States.

“Since May, because of the backup from Covid-19, just getting containers has been a real struggle,” Butler said, adding that prices started climbing in June.

“Last year we paid $2,000 to $3,000 for the containers and this year we are paying in the region of $20,000. We decided we would pay the exorbitant rates that were being charged to make sure we got more Received more than 1,000 containers,” Butler said, adding that he had less than 1,000 containers but about 90% of his orders were fulfilled.

Butler said consumers will see a 25 per cent increase in prices this year due to increased transportation costs.

Climate disruption a factor for real trees

Warner says it will be difficult even for real Christmas trees to hit the market for consumers this year, thanks to a combination of supply chain disruptions and weather disasters triggered by climate change.

When asked about potential tree shortages, Warner explained, “Christmas tree growers also have shipping issues because they can’t find trucks to pick up the trees they need to market.”

What’s more, while Christmas trees are grown across the country, most of the trees in the US are from Oregon and Washington and have borne the brunt of extreme weather events.

“Floods, heat waves, wildfires and smoke from fires have really affected growers in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest,” Warner said.

Christmas tree farmer Frans Koch, owner of Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm in northern Virginia, echoed similar concerns over the changing climate.

“Climate change is affecting all agriculture and in different ways,” he explained, adding that some trees that were once prevalent are now infested by a fungus that emerged with changing weather conditions.

“And so, the price of trees is clearly going up and that’s in part because we’re short on them,” he said, adding that this year he will pass on the $50 increase to consumers.

Still, Warner says don’t panic.

“There will be a Christmas tree, both real and artificial, for everyone who wants to celebrate with one. It can’t be exactly what you want, the shape or color you want,” he told consumers. You should aim to do your holiday shopping. as soon as possible.

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