If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet, it might be time to do so.
Not just for presents to put under the tree, but shopping for the tree itself.
The Graff family picked out theirs Tuesday at Pronzini Trees in San Rafael, just like they do every year.
“Price has gone up a little,” said Ted Graff. “A couple bucks more this year than last year.”
It’s good they got their tree now. Transportation costs, up 20 to 25%, are pushing prices higher, and climate change is threatening the Christmas tree supply.
John Pronzini has been growing and selling Christmas trees for more than 50 years. He has lots of pictures of trees at his Oregon farm that were killed or damaged by last summer’s heat wave.
“We had weather that went from 112 to 114 degrees and lasted four days. We never get that. It went from Corvallis up to Seattle, Washington,” said Pronzini.
Some tree growers lost 25% of their crop.
Clancy’s Tree Lot has been operating in San Francisco for more than 40 years, and they’re seeing a very unusual level of demand.
“Getting a lot of calls, ‘are we open, are we open, are we open?’ It’s a great response, everyone’s happy that we’re back,” said Stephen Clancy.
For those thinking of maybe giving up the natural tree for an artificial one this year -- there’s some bad news there as well.
Experts are saying it might not be long before there’s a shortage of those too.
The CEO of a company that imports and wholesales artificial trees says the crimp in the supply chain is the problem and, “The demand this year is going to be extremely strong and so I think from a consumer perspective people definitely shouldn't wait … consumers should buy now.”
It’s possible natural and artificial Christmas trees could be hard to find by mid-December.