Tampa Bay area experiencing Christmas tree shortage

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The supply chain shortage is now impacting Christmas trees in the Tampa Bay area.

It is not even Thanksgiving and large trees at Gallio Family Christmas Trees already were selling out.

“We need to find the biggest Christmas tree we could get for the showroom and they are sold out everywhere,” said Steven Hurt, the general manager of Westshore Mazda.

Hurt told News Channel 8 that he had to search all over town for a large Christmas tree to display at the dealership.

“We just went through calling every day. We keep getting the same thing, call back in two days, see what comes in, because nobody seems to know which shipments actually coming so it’s luck of the draw-type thing,” said Hurt.

Hurt lucked out and snagged the last large tree available at Gallio Family Christmas Trees.

“It was the last one. He said he had a deposit on the other this morning so we were just racing to get down here to make sure no one else grabbed this one,” said Hurt.

Ed Gallio has been in business for 25 years and said the tree shortage this year is the worst he’s seen.

“They’re cutting us down to almost a quarter of what we got in the past. Smaller trees are plentiful, you can get those, but the bigger trees it’s just they’re not there,” Gallio said. “You have a shortage of drivers, for starters, and with freight and the diesel being so expensive, it’s a multitude of things. Put it all together and it’s making one big mess.”

While he’s trying to keep costs low for his customers, he recommends calling around for selection and prices before you buy.

“I’ve heard some horror stories already about prices going through the roof and 7 to 8 foot trees for $270. It’s crazy,” Gallio said.

At Gallio’s, shipments arrive as needed every few days, so they’re hoping to get more of the large trees.

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