ALL NEWS

Supply chain issues and extreme weather cause Christmas tree shortage

Dec 2, 2021, 7:26 AM | Updated: 11:55 am

Man looks at Christmas tree lot...

A man shops for a Christmas tree at Crystal River Christmas Trees in Alameda, Calif. on Nov. 26, 2021. Extreme weather and supply chain disruptions have led to shortages and higher prices for both real and artificial Christmas trees this year. Photo: AP Photo/Terry Chea

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Even Christmas trees aren’t immune to the pandemic-induced shortages and inflation plaguing the economy.

Extreme weather and supply chain disruptions have reduced supplies of both real and artificial trees this season. American shoppers should expect to have fewer choices and pay up to 30% more for both types this Christmas, industry officials said.

“It’s a double whammy — weather and supply chain problems are really hampering the industry,” said Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, an industry trade group. “Growers have been hard hit by floods, fires, smoke, drought, extreme weather conditions.”

Record-breaking heat and wildfires in late June took a heavy toll on Christmas tree farms in Oregon and Washington, two of the nation’s largest growers.

Warner could not provide an estimate of how many fewer trees there will be this year but because it takes up to 10 years to grow, the crop loss will be felt for many seasons to come.

The shortage of truck drivers is making it harder and more expensive to transport live trees from farms to stores and tree lots.

Warner’s advice: “Shop early. If you see something you like, buy it.”

At Crystal River Christmas Trees, owner Dale Pine and his nephew Stacy Valenzuela struggled to get enough trees to sell at their tree lot in Alameda. Many of its suppliers in Oregon lost trees in the triple-digit heat wave.

“It was looking pretty grim for a while,” Valenzuela said. “Every single day you’re on the phone checking, ‘Hey, you got anything? If you do, send it my way.’ So a lot of work to get these trees on the ground this year.”

Crystal River had to raise prices this year because the costs of trees, labor and truck delivery have all gone up, Valenzuela said.

Alameda resident Ian Steplowski came to Crystal River lot to buy a Silvertip tree with his wife and two young kids the day after Thanksgiving.

“We’re having shortages of everything and of course it had to take Christmas trees,” Steplowski said. “Definitely noticing everything’s a bit more expensive this year already.”

Teri Schaffert heard about the shortage of real trees this year, so she decided to buy an artificial tree for the first time. Almost a week before Thanksgiving, she went to shop at the Burlington showroom of Balsam Hill, which primarily sells its artificial trees online.

“I came in early because I heard in the news that there’s not going to be enough fresh Christmas trees,” said Schaffert, who lives in nearby San Mateo. Her husband isn’t happy about the change. “What else can we do? I have to get ready for the future because I love Christmas. I love to decorate.”

But the artificial tree industry is struggling with its own supply troubles as clogged ports and the lack of truckers delay shipments and raise costs, said Caroline Tuan, Balsam Hill’s chief operating officer. The company’s trees are about 20% more expensive this year and there is less variety.

“We have to bring our products over from our factories (in China), and that has been very challenging,” Tuan said. “All of that has impacted us, which means that we have fewer trees to sell as an industry.”

Worries about drought and drought led David Cruise and his wife to the Balsam Hill showroom to buy their first artificial tree this year.

“In the grand scheme of climate change here in California, this is really the way to go,” said Cruise, who lives in Brentwood. “The sooner everybody gets on board with the artificial tree, the sooner everybody’s going to enjoy it.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Former BYU men’s head basketball coach Mark Pope high-fives the front row of the student section ...

Mitch Harper

Kentucky’s Mark Pope Expressed Gratitude For Time As BYU Head Coach

Basketball coach Mark Pope expressed gratitude for his time at BYU while settling into his new position as Kentucky Wildcats bench boss.

2 hours ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

Find greater happiness through joy-filled connections

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Carla Manly to learn how we can boost happiness through connections.

4 hours ago

In this June 5, 2019, file photo, Morgan Wallen arrives at the CMT Music Awards on at the Bridgesto...

Associated Press

Recently arrested Morgan Wallen says he’s “not proud” of behavior

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country music star Morgan Wallen, who faces charges stemming in part from accusations that he threw a chair off the rooftop of a six-story bar, says he’s “not proud” of his behavior and accepts responsibility. The “One Thing at a Time” singer responded publicly Friday night on social media to his […]

16 hours ago

Former Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. David Pryor, a Democrat who was one of the state's most belo...

ANDREW DeMILLO Associated Press

David Pryor, former governor and senator of Arkansas, dies at age 89

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Former Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. David Pryor, a Democrat who was one of the state’s most beloved political figures and remained active in public service in the state long after he left office, has died. He was 89. Pryor, who went undercover to investigate nursing homes while a congressman, […]

18 hours ago

Kevin Bacon at Payson High School....

Amie Schaeffer

Kevin Bacon visits Payson High School after student-led campaign

Actor Kevin Bacon returned to Payson High School after a student-led campaign. The actor and the students spent the morning building service kits.

20 hours ago

The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge lay on top of the container ship Dali, Monday, April 15, 202...

Associated Press

Third temporary channel opens for vessels to Baltimore port after bridge collapse

A third temporary channel located to the northeast of the fallen bridge is meant to help boats to access the Port of Baltimore.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Supply chain issues and extreme weather cause Christmas tree shortage