Why is There a Shortage of Christmas Trees?

Supply chains issues have affected manufactured items both domestic and imported, due to pandemic shutdowns, labor shortages, unforeseen demands, and global logistics. The results are empty shelves and higher prices for a lot of items. But why would that affect Christmas trees? They grow in America, and in most places, you can even select and cut your own at local nurseries.

But here we are. Your local Christmas tree farm or neighborhood kiosk is liable to run out at any time, and the trees you can get will cost an arm and a leg. Curiously, the reason behind the shortage has nothing to do with the pandemic or with supply chain issues. See, an evergreen tree takes eight years to grow to the stabdard six feet, so producers must look into their crystal balls and predict the market for cut trees eight years into the future to decide how many to plant. Tree growers were burned in the 1990s when fewer people wanted to buy cut trees. It happened again during the 2008 recession. Read about the market's ups and down that contribute to Christmas trees costing 50% more this year at Popular Mechanics. If you're not a member, here's an alternate link.

People who use artificial trees aren't quite as impacted. The supply may be thin for a new tree, but you can always pull out that tree you've been using for years. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Beyond My Ken


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The ongoing drought has really hurt tree growers too. My brother owns a 64 acre choose and cut Xmas tree farm. He would normally plant 2000 new seedlings per year. But there is no irrigation and no water to put in irrigation so those seedlings have to live or die on their own. Brother hasn't planted any in the last 2 years. He's relying on the regrowth from trees cut a decade or more ago that have regrown.
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I can tell you this, its also affecting artificial trees. We've been sold out for a week at least. Also clear lights - apparently clear lights way more popular than multi-color. Though I'm wondering if it's always been that way.¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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