Nationwide Christmas tree shortage affecting some BCS providers, but not all

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 12:08 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Thanksgiving weekend is often the biggest for Christmas tree sales as people gear up for the holiday, but like so many other items this year, a Christmas tree shortage is affecting the entire country.

Come Friday, many people will be looking for that perfect tree to boost that holiday cheer, but the shortage could affect their search depending on where they go to look.

Mark Scarmardo is the manager of Farm Patch Christmas Tree Lot in College Station. He says while they’re doing everything they can to go out and find new suppliers and keep the numbers they normally have, it’s been difficult.

“Last year because of COVID, more people than ever, because they were at home I suppose, bought real Christmas trees,” Scarmardo said. “All of our farmers sold more trees than they ever have before, and that put a big dent in the supply.”

He also says the process of growing a Christmas tree isn’t overnight. That’s why this particular shortage is being caused more by people’s buying habits from last season than it is the recent supply chain issues causing shipment delays and increased costs.

“Growing Christmas trees is a five to ten-year deal, so to anticipate that, you’ve got to get ahead of it,” Scarmardo said.

Scarmardo says while the shortage isn’t so severe that people need to run out this weekend to get a tree, they can expect to see a higher price tag.

“You will probably see a small increase in price on some of these,” Scarmardo said. “That’s due to the shortage of trees, not only just the price of everything from freight to labor. We will have fresh trees for those who want to wait a little while. With that said, if more people are wanting to buy a real tree this year, potentially we could sell out.”

It’s a different story for local Christmas tree farms. Tanglewood Christmas Trees Owner Jan Peery says because their product is locally grown, they’re unaffected by supply chain issues. She says they try to plant roughly the same number of trees they sell in any given year.

“There are going to be enough trees for everyone who wants a real Christmas tree,” Peery said. “It might be tight at some point on the selection or the size, so you might want to shop early. If we do sell out, we have a few that we could sell that are actually next year’s crop, and we do have other growers in the area that can also shoulder some of the burden if someone should sell out.”

Peery thought this past winter’s freeze was going to wipe out their entire product and years of hard work. She says they got 8 inches of snow at their farm, and the snowfall made the trees look gorgeous. But since the snow kept coming, it eventually caused the limbs to droop and the smaller trees lay over on their sides. They had planted their new crop just a few weeks before the storm hit in February, but it had a very unexpected effect on all their trees.

“They grew wonderful,” Peery said. “They loved all the nitrates that came out of the air and went into the ground, and they just flourished. They’re gorgeous, they’re beautiful, and they’re very full trees.”

Peery says the winter freeze actually helped their trees grow an extra 1.5 to 2 feet taller than normal, they think in large part due to all the moisture that was trapped inside the ground and released after it thawed out. She says the fact temperatures avoided the triple digits in the summer also contributed to that.

While both providers say they should have enough trees to last through the holiday season, it’s always best to buy early to get exactly the one you’re looking for. Both Farm Patch Christmas Tree Lot and Tanglewood Christmas Trees open up for the first time this season on Friday, Nov. 26. Farm Patch is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Tanglewood is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday over the Thanksgiving weekend. After that, they are only open on the weekends but will be available on weekdays by appointment only.

Copyright 2021 KBTX. All rights reserved.