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How to Find a Christmas Tree Amid Shortages

Both real and artificial trees may be in short supply this Christmas season

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Weather, transportation, and supply chain issues are impacting the supply of Christmas trees this year, but savvy consumers can find what they want if they don’t wait.

'This Last Weekend Was Insanity'

At Patton Christmas Trees in Dallas, John Patton said customers are getting an early start to the season.

“People are coming out much earlier than usual. This last weekend was insanity,” he said.

Patton anticipated high demand and opened a full week before Black Friday. Last year, he said he sold out by mid-December.

“People who came after Dec. 14, we did not have a single Christmas tree at our location, not a single tree,” Patton said.

Patton said getting trees to North Texas has become harder. Weather in key growing states in the Pacific Northwest suffered damaged crops. The shortage there had a domino effect on Midwest and East Coast supplies.

North Texas farmers also had to contend with the February freeze.

“It took out half of a small field of mine of Arizona Cyprus,” explained Marsha Nelson, co-owner of KaJiN Christmas Tree Farm in Caddo Mills, which sells a mix of locally grown trees and trees brought in from out-of-state.

She, too, expected higher demand this year. Nelson said she sold out of Christmas trees in a little over a week in 2020.

“In seven and a half days,” Nelson said. “It was amazing. I have never had that happen before. Never.”

Costs Are Up

The American Christmas Tree Association said while prices vary depending on the seller, consumers may pay more for live and artificial trees this Christmas.

“I think consumers can expect to pay between 10% and 30% more this year. Manufacturers, retailers, growers are absorbing as much costs as they possibly can,” executive director Jami Warner said.

Transporting trees costs more, too, and so does labor.

Warner explained artificial trees are snarled in the supply chain.

“The logjam is loosening a little bit from what we understand. But right now, some retailers have only about 43% of the inventory that they expected to have,” Warner said.

“Are prices a little bit up? Yeah, but I'm really trying to keep the prices as low as possible,” Patton said.

His advice? If you’re on the hunt for a specific type of tree or a tall tree, 10 feet tall or more, don’t wait.

“This isn't going to last forever. Everybody's planting again,” Nelson said.

Nelson also recommended shopping early and enjoying the search.

“People are wanting to get out and have fun and it's more about families now,” she said.

A Season of Giving

Patton Christmas Trees said it’s also collecting donations for Texas Health Resources Foundation NICU wish list. Patton said it plans to match every donation.

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