Obtaining a Christmas tree, real or artificial, may be much harder this season due to shortages.
The supply of artificial trees may be limited this year due to labor and market issues, while crops of real trees were damaged over the summer due to the extreme heat in certain areas.
The price of artificial Christmas trees has already jumped 25% this season, the Wall Street Journal reports. Shipping delays have caused cargo to collect at California ports while ships line up and deal with waiting times of up to three weeks.
Shipping, in general, has seen delays due to an overall labor shortage, particularly among truck drivers, Yahoo News reports. Also, cargo piling up at ports has resulted in a shortage of shipping containers.
Similarly, the wholesale price of real Christmas trees has jumped 5-10%, also due to shipping and labor issues, Yahoo News reports. With fewer workers, it’s harder to harvest the same number of trees as in past years.
To make matters worse, the recent warm weather has hurt crops of trees. Mark Wosner, owner of Wonser Woods Estate in Estacada, Oregon, spoke with the Oregon Live in July about how a recent heatwave had damaged about 90% of his Christmas tree crop.
On average, it takes about 10 years for Christmas trees to grow. This means that farmers can’t quickly replace trees that are lost due to extreme weather events.
Christmas trees aren’t the only aspect of the holiday expected to be impacted by these issues. Some toy manufacturers and retailers are warning that the shipping issues. Oregon Live reports that shortages are being made worse as shoppers re-enter the market after months of lockdowns, causing demand for goods to significantly increase. As the holidays draw closer, overall demand for goods is expected to increase more, while shipping delays aren’t expected to be solved within the next three months.