Extreme Weather, Supply Chain Disruptions Leading to Shortage of Real and Faux Christmas Trees

American Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Jami Warner is advising shoppers to buy their tree early this year

Christmas tree farm
Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

Anyone planning on purchasing a Christmas tree this year should act fast, according to experts.

Extreme weather and supply chain issues caused by the ongoing pandemic have led to shortages in both real and faux trees, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.

"Every year, we pay close attention to factors impacting the Christmas tree industry so that we can help guide consumers in choosing the right Christmas tree," said ACTA Executive Director Jami Warner. In 2021, the organization notes, a variety of factors have influenced supplies. As a result, Warner is "encouraging consumers to find their tree early this year to avoid shortage impacts."

christmas trees
Christmas trees. Getty

Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree Company seconded that advice. "The demand this year is going to be extremely strong and so I think from a consumer perspective people definitely shouldn't wait," he told CNBC.

"Consumers should buy 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 seeing pretty strong growth right now already versus last year and so, I do think that we're in for a big, big season this year."

For live trees, weather events in the Pacific Northwest, where many trees are grown, were a major factor. Wildfires, drought and heat waves have all taken a toll on tree farms. According to the Oregonian, some farmers lost nearly 90 percent of their crop.

Shortages of artificial tree have a different root cause, stemming from the pandemic, which has triggered supply chain issues worldwide as companies struggle to keep up with the high demand for consumer goods, raw materials and transportation.

These disruptions are also expected to significantly increase the cost of shipping and Christmas tree products, according to Warner.

"We hope that every person who wants a Christmas tree will find their perfect tree this year," he said. "If I can give one piece of advice to consumers right now, it is to find and buy your Christmas tree early. "

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