Supply Chain Issues, Climate Change Affects Christmas Tree Selection

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If you're buying a Christmas tree this holiday season, you may want to act soon. Supply chain issues and climate change are contributing to a Christmas tree shortage in the U.S.

“Because of climate change, you’re having problems with moisture, watering, which is creating other issues. It reduces their crop. It reduces their growth,” said Gordon Chavez, founder of Mr. Jingle's, a Christmas tree retailer.

Chavez said farms he deals with in Oregon have been affected by wildfire. Because of his rising costs, he's making less profit this year here in San Diego. Chavez hoping to make up for it by charging a little more at his Los Angeles area locations.

“We’re having a large increase in cost. A lot of that cost is coming from not as many people wanting to drive anymore after the pandemic,” said Chavez.

With fuel prices on the rise, transporting trees has been more expensive. Rising labor costs are also affecting Chavez’s bottom line.

“I think in general prices have gone up,” said Gwen MacMillan, a Mission Beach resident.

MacMillan says she has been to several lots looking for a tree and says she didn't find the selection she was expecting at other stores. MacMillan also noticed a bit of a price difference.

“I think there’s about a $30 difference,” said MacMillan

The price increase for artificial trees might be greater this year. Many are shipped from China and are affected by the shipping backups at Southern California ports.

Demand for Christmas trees is expected to be strong this year. While there will likely be enough available to buy, you may not get the exact type that you were looking for.

The price of a Christmas tree from Oregon has nearly doubled in the last five years according to a report from the U.S.D.A. The harvest is also much smaller. In five years, the acreage of Christmas trees growing in Oregon has dropped 24%.

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