HUNTINGTON, N.Y. — Christmas trees have been added to the list this year of items in high demand and rising prices.
Newsday reported that several factors are behind the trend, including sales over-the-top during last Christmas’ COVID-19 Pandemic and supply chain issues.
Experts say tree buyers can expect to pay 10% to 30% more for artificial and live trees this year, and have a smaller selection.
John Mohlenhoff (secretary of the Huntington fire department’s hook and ladder company), stated that prices have risen significantly. “We have had to make compromises on the types and sizes of trees that we get, as well as other aspects.
Mohlenhoff reported that Huntington’s fire department sold all its trees within 48 hours in a fundraising event that normally lasts a week. Prices were raised this year by $5, which is the first time it’s happened in a decade. The Pennsylvania farm that supplies the trees was forced to increase its prices.
Darts Christmas Tree Farm in Southold sold all of its mature trees last year. It also sold many that weren’t yet mature. This left the farm with less large trees than usual, Ed Dart stated.
There are many factors at play. Experts told Newsday that farmers who were struggling to find trees after 2009’s economic recession planted fewer trees over the years. However, demand for trees has increased in recent years. To reach maturity, a tree takes between eight and ten years.
This year, artificial tree deliveries were delayed due to supply chain problems and a shortage in truck drivers.
Jami Warner (executive director of American Christmas Tree Association), said that retailers are saying they have 43 percent of their stock right now, when it should be closer at 70 percent.
Andy Pergament, category manager at Costello’s Ace Hardware on Long Island, said artificial tree retailer Costello’s Ace Hardware has increased prices by as much as 25%. He said that although Christmas merchandise is usually available in stores by October, the chain is still waiting to receive artificial trees from China. They are expected to arrive next week.