Headlines have been popping up about live and artificial Christmas tree shortages all over the U.S. And it looks like those issues may have made their way to the Cincinnati area.
Rossmann's Christmas Tree Farm in Blanchester said in a Facebook post that the farm won’t be opening for the 2021 season. They cite low tree inventory saying, “We don't feel we can adequately serve customers as we have in the past.”
Bartels Farm in Hamilton says on its website that it will only be open for three days in 2021 — Nov 26, 27 and 28 — and during those days, appointments will be required to get a fresh festive tree.
"We are working hard to increase our tree inventory and to navigate the nation-wide Christmas tree shortage," the farm said on its Facebook page.
Sizes of trees are limited at Shaker Tract Tree Farm in Harrison. According to the farm’s Facebook page, their season will be limited to five days — Nov. 26, 27 and 28 and Dec. 4 and 5 — and the selection will be limited to trees under 8 feet that will be priced at $10 a foot.
The American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) reported that in 2020, of the 94 million American households that celebrated Christmas and had a tree in their home, 85% were artificial, and 15% were live. The association says similar demands are expected this year.
In Michigan, which is the third-highest producer of Christmas trees in the U.S., tree growers warned of a Christmas tree shortage.
While it was severe weather that impacted growers in the Pacific Northwest this year, that is not the case in Michigan, where growers are citing the Great Recession as a leading factor for why Michigan's tree numbers are low in 2021 It takes anywhere from 6-10 years to grow trees to a marketable height and, apparently, when there's a housing crisis most people (aside from predatory mortgage lenders) aren't able to think about presents, carols or Christmas trees.
Many tree farms closed up shop in 2008 and in the following years, with no new farms replacing them immediately.
As a result, Christmas trees are shockingly scarce this year — and the scarcity might cause, you guessed it, a possible price surge.
"In 2021, we’re seeing a variety of trends influencing artificial and live Christmas tree supply across the country, and are encouraging consumers to find their tree early this year to avoid shortage impacts," Jami Warner, executive director of the ACTA said on the organization's website. "If I can give one piece of advice to consumers right now, it is to find and buy your Christmas tree early."
COVID-19 continues to rear its ugly head and in this instance, it has helped inflate the cost of artificial trees. The ACTA reports that the U.S. supply chain is overwhelmed with “increased demand for consumer goods, raw materials, and transportation,” and retailers predict a quadrupling in shopping prices due to this demand. This is predicted to result in fewer artificial trees at higher prices.
“We hope that every person who wants a Christmas tree will find their perfect tree this year,” said Warner.
Go out and get your tree as soon as you can to make sure the Grinch doesn’t win this year.
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