BARTLETT, Tenn — Right now, people are scrambling to get gifts to put under the Christmas tree because of the ongoing supply chain shortage. And now this year, the tree itself might be hard to find.
Priddy Farms in Bartlett just opened up shop Friday, November 22. He said Christmas tree vendors will have fewer trees available for sale this holiday season due to a double whammy of supply troubles and the great recession.
"Many farms weren't prepared several years ago," Priddy said. "The wholesale tree farmers didn't plant as many trees as they expected to need, so now several years later, it's kind of catching up and showing the effects."
Priddy explains at the onset of the recession in 2008, the nation was experiencing an excess of Christmas trees at a time when families couldn't afford them. So with a combination of an oversupply of trees and a recession that hurt farmers, tree growers had little resources or incentives to plant new trees at their typical levels.
We are noticing the supply shortage now because of the time it takes trees to grow and because of the pandemic. Priddy said the shortfall in supply compared to expected higher than normal demands will affect the markets for both real and fake trees.
Artificial trees are being impacted by the same supply-chain issues that have resulted in numerous other products imported from overseas taking longer than expected to arrive in the U.S. or to be available in far fewer quantities than usual, so this will also push more.
"More people are going, instead of going to grandma and grandfather's or mom and dad's house and not putting up their own tree, they are staying at home. So that just double the need for trees and the supply is just not there this year," he said.
Priddy said the cost of a Christmas tree is up as much as 30%. So if you paid $85 for a tree last year, you are looking at paying about $115 this year. Because of the supply chain issues, it's getting expensive to get the tress to the Mid-South. Fuel prices, price of transportation, and supply and demand of trucks being available for the shipping are all factors causing more expensive trees.
But knowing that there would be a high demand this year, Priddy said he got ahead and stocked up months ahead of time. He said there will be enough available at his farm for the next few weeks, but the closer it gets to Christmas, options will be slim and prices will still be high, so there will not be much room for bargaining.
Priddy Farms is open every day Here are their hours:
- Monday -Wednesday: 1 p.m. - 7p.m.
- Friday: 1 p.m. - 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m
For the holidays, they will be open on Thanksgiving from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Black Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.