It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in many homes across America, but could tree shortages caused by droughts and other problems in some states dampen holiday spirits?
Although you’ll likely be able to find plenty of trees, you might end up paying more for a tree this year in some parts of the country, or finding there’s less variety to choose from.
For example, one grower in drought-stricken Southern California said prices went up by 10% because many sellers have left the market in the last few years.
“We’ve never seen a shortage. Nothing like this at all,” he told CBS Los Angeles of his 37 years in the Christmas tree business.
Drought is also affecting California’s neighbors to the north in Oregon, where consumers are also facing higher prices for their holiday flora, KGW.com reported.
Growers have left the market there as well, or are selling fewer trees, in response to poor weather and an overabundance of supply in recent years. Such a shortage in the Pacific Northwest might boost prices elsewhere in the country as well, as trees from that region are often sold to buyers outside the state.
According to WJHL.com, there may be less variety in Tennessee this season as well, due to wildfires that have been destroying any vegetation in their path, though growers report business is still okay the moment.
In North Carolina, Mother Nature might not disrupt the Christmas tree market this year, but farmers say drought in the western part of the state could cause problems down the road.
“I wouldn’t say it’s affected the crop this year, but the next year or two you’ll see a shortage in the trees because the amount of water, and the weather depends on how much the tree grows,” one grower told WWAY-TV.
There will be plenty of trees in Hawaii this year, but if you want a particular kind of tree, say, a Douglas fir, you should shop early, one grower explained to Hawaii News Now. That’s because the state imported 20,000 fewer trees this year than it did last season.
And in Alabama, some growers say they have enough trees, but they might be a bit smaller than usually because of a drought in that state, WHNT-19 reported.
Whatever happens, just don’t cut your own and then refuse to pay.