Rockin’ around the… Christmas tree?

Ava Hunt, News Editor

A view of a Christmas tree farm in Southern Virginia as they prepare for the 2021 Christmas season. Bing Images.

Lights twinkling, ornaments sparkling and the bright star glowing. What is missing? The trees that these decorations go on. This year, there is a nationwide Christmas tree shortage caused by both supply chain issues and climate change. Fraser firs and Oregon pine trees have seen the effects of climate change as they have been damaged by wildfires run rampid, while extreme transportation costs cause artificial trees to be stuck in the supply chain. Both real and artificial trees are hard to find this year from these problems, as their quantities are lower and prices are higher. For National Tree Company, a leading importer of artificial trees, delivery times of trees made in Southern China that travel through the Panama Canal have increased from three to eight weeks and manufacturing time has doubled since the start of the pandemic. These delays are concerning for some and manufacturers are urging customers to purchase their trees early “The demand this year is going to be extremely strong and so I think from a consumer perspective people definitely should not wait,” Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree Company, said. The American Christmas Tree Association has reported that the supply of real Christmas trees for this year is much lower due to the summer’s heat in the Pacific Northwest. The price for living trees is said to be five to ten percent higher than last year due to these problems. Mayne’s Tree Farm in Frederick County, Maryland saw this rush for Christmas trees this year, reporting that they had a line of customers that extended onto the highway at one point. “[It was] extremely busy, probably one of the biggest we have ever had because there is a tree shortage out here,” Mehrl Mayne, owner of Mayne’s Tree Farm, said. “We had had them backed out on [Highway] 85, that is about 1,400 feet. We had the sheriff’s department call and ask us if we could do anything about it. I told them the best we can, we are trying to get people moving in the parking lot, we need you guys to direct traffic.” Maryland is not the only state seeing this shortage of Christmas trees. As the Christmas holiday season approaches, customers are urged to go out and buy trees early. For updates on the supply of Christmas trees, watch local and national news for more information.