Americans are Facing a Historic Christmas Trees Shortage

As Christmas nears, Americans are facing an unprecedented shortage of Christmas trees, due to the inadequate supply and adverse weather conditions at many places.

Meanwhile, the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) pledged Christmas would not be canceled this year, even though the problem continues.

Natural disasters, supply chain crises delaying Christmas tree shipments

The ACTA, a major stakeholder in the artificial tree industry, said a quadruple increase in the shipping costs of plastic Christmas trees is expected this time, compared to last year. This is due to the massive supply chain crisis.

Likewise, the association noted the Chinese-made artificial trees are now moved to the eastern coast of the US. They were unable to be unloaded at the western coast, which will increase the delivery times and shipping costs.

It is important to note extreme weather conditions and wildfires in the north-western farms of the United States are driving the costs of natural trees to an unprecedented extent.

Not only this, but labor and transportation problems are adding fuel to the fire. This is further straining the delaying shipments while pumping the prices higher.

Almost 94 million American households erected a Christmas tree in 2020; among them, only 15 percent were natural trees. Reportedly, artificial trees cost more than live trees, which put further pressure on natural tree growers to meet the increasing demands.

Currently, the pacific northwest region of the country is producing almost five million annual trees that comprise 25 percent of the US’ natural trees.

The spokesman of the National Christmas Tree Association, Doug Hundley, said the overall stock of the region plunged by 500,000 trees. This will ultimately bring the prices of the natural trees almost 10 percent higher.

Demand for natural Christmas trees increased during the pandemic

COVID has encouraged people to spend their holidays fashionably this time; hence, the demand for natural Christmas trees is also skyrocketing in the pandemic.

A full-grown natural tree takes almost 8-10 years for breeding; thus, the 2012 natural drought in North American countries is shaping the circumstances now. Growers are encouraging people to get their hands on the trees as soon as possible.

Jami Warner, the ACTA executive director, asserted while Christmas will not be canceled, people will have a hard time finding the trees within their pre-set budget.

Likewise, she added the congestion in ports is blocking the supply of many trees and ornaments. Meanwhile, vendors are unable to get even half of the products they ordered.

Vice President Kamala Harris warned Americans in August to buy their Christmas presents earlier, predicting the situation could deteriorate, due to the supply chain crisis.

Meanwhile, House Republicans criticized Democrats for creating a shortage of Christmas trees, saying after the expensive Thanksgiving, Democrats are destroying Christmas as well.