TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The countdown to Christmas has officially started and people are on the hunt for the perfect tree. Unfortunately for some, tree farm owners are saying their pickings are looking a little slim this year.
“Customers have mentioned that some of the chain stores are down on their varieties,” John Sansone, owner of Great Lakes Christmas Tree Farms said.
The Grinch this year trying to steal Christmas is the global supply chain back up. Sansone said they’ve noticed it with their own supply.
“It’s a trucking situation from different areas we bring the trees in from such as Canada. We’re having problems with trucks — late deliveries from Canada.”
That transportation is costing even bigger bucks for supplies and potential customers, according to the owner at Gallaghers Pumpkins and Christmas Trees in St. Petersburg.
“There’s like a 30 percent increase on shipping,” David Gallagher said. “There’s a lot of people that aren’t wanting to pay the shipping increases so that’s why a lot of people are not bringing in trees this year.”
Experts said tree buyers should expect to pay between 10% and 30% more for both live trees and artificial trees this year and also have a smaller selection to choose from.
Sansone said he’s had to be strategic with the variety of trees he has this year. “We supply quite a few of the lots in the area. So we have to take care of the wholesale accounts and accommodate the retail and flow of people coming in.”
Sansone advises everyone to buy their Christmas trees early this year, so they don’t run into any challenges.