KENTUCKY, USA — Global supply chain problems are impacting everything from certain canned goods to toilet paper. And many people are wondering how our holidays could also be impacted. Specifically, we’re seeing people on social media asking… Is there a Christmas tree shortage?
“We can't grow trees fast enough on our farms," said Shafer.
Shafer is a second-generation Christmas tree farmer in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. With the onset of the pandemic, she said the demand for her trees is unprecedented.
“So they wanted to stay at home and start new traditions with their families," she said.
But that demand has been met with a dire growing season.
“And then you also have the shortage due to pests that have affected the trees," she said.
All together, Shafer said about 90% of her ready-to-cut trees have been wiped out by factors she just can’t control.
“And it's been tough," she said.
It means if you want a real tree from a farm, don’t wait till December.
“If you don't have a tree by Thanksgiving weekend, it'll be hard to find a fresh-cut tree," said Shafer.
Of course, you can always get a fake one, but Shafer said snag them now.
“I've been to Walmart and Hobby Lobby, they already have their Christmas stuff out. So if people are wanting the nicer trees, they need to go ahead and do them now," she said.
The American Christmas Tree Association sums up the tree challenges nationwide. In an email to Verify, the association said:
“The supply of real Christmas trees will be impacted by the extreme weather conditions--fires, drought, heat-- that hammered growers this season. Artificial tree supplies are being impacted by the serious supply chain issues that are plaguing just about every product that is imported into the U.S.”
So we can verify that yes, there is a Christmas tree shortage this year. Whether you want a real or a fake tree, plan ahead as far as you can.
And one more thing to keep in mind: Shafer said if you want a pre-cut tree, you could wait and buy one from a third-party seller and not from a tree farm.
But she said it means you don’t know when exactly it was cut and how long it’s gone without water, which means it may not last as long as you’d like it to.