CHICAGO – Christmas tree farmers are feeling optimistic about this season despite several challenges facing the industry, including COVID-19 and recent climate events that further push supply issues for everyone.
The Christmas Tree Promotional Board (CTPB), a national research and promotion program whose mission is to share the benefits of fresh Christmas trees with consumers, says there will be plenty to go around this holiday. “The industry expects plenty of trees to go around,” the CTPB said this week. “Barring any new crises before harvest, this will not be the Christmas without a real Christmas tree.”
Earlier this month, Balsam Hill, which sells a variety of Christmas décor, said some of their products could rise as much as 20% compared to last year due to the cost of shipping products into the country.
“The artificial Christmas tree industry has stated publicly that supply chain snags are forcing a higher price tag on its product as well as shipping delays,” the group says. “Some shipments are unlikely to arrive before the Christmas shopping season. But the good news for consumers is that 100% of natural Christmas trees sold in the U.S. are grown in North America and don’t have oceans to cross in the first place.”
During the pandemic, a study found consumers who previously bought artificial trees and switched to real trees enjoyed the experience. Farmers worked to adapt to new demands all year by making tree-by-tree decisions well before the crises hit.
With only two months left until the holiday season goes into full gear, growers have already begun seeing a demand for more “natural-looking” trees, a style that’s expected to be more widely available this season.
“It would take yet another major climate event to seriously derail harvest plans at this point,” said Bob Schaefer, Oregon-based Christmas tree producer. “We didn’t run out of trees last year. Or in 2019. Or the year before that. In fact, we never have, and we don’t intend to this year.”
To find the nearest real Christmas tree retailer near you, you can visit ItsChristmasKeepitReal.com and enter your zip code. Retailers can also submit their location directly through the site.