Those looking to purchase a Christmas tree should get on it, some Colorado Springs retailers warn. This year, procrastinators may find trees more elusive than Arnold Schwarzenegger's TurboMan.
Seriously, the nation is being impacted by a tree shortage stemming from a heatwave in the Pacific Northwest, shipping issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and fewer trees planted during the The Great Recession.
Across America, shoppers should expect to have fewer choices and pay up to 30% more for both real and artificial trees this Christmas, industry officials said.
Devin Engle, project manager for Rick's Garden Center located off Uintah Street, said the store attempted to increase their order of real trees this year due to the high demand last year. According to Engle, the store only received two-thirds of the order.
In addition to the heatwave in the northwest and shipping issues due to COVID-19, she said trees being ordered now would have been planted 10 years ago. Producers chose to plant fewer trees due to the uncertainty of the recession.
Engle said that many seem to understand the situation and that people are buying early this season. She estimates Rick's Garden Center has sold half of its inventory heading into the weekend.
"Everyone seems really excited about real Christmas trees," Engle said.
Levi Heidrich, owner of Heidrich's Colorado Tree Farm Nursery located off Woodmen Road near Black Forest Road, echoed Engle's statement that people are buying trees earlier.
“The thing people wanna know is they don’t want to wait,” he said. "There won't be much left this time next week anywhere."
Heidrich, who was actually able to increase his inventory by 10% this year over last year due to a longstanding relationship between the owners and a farm in Michigan, said he expects to sell out of the couple thousand trees he ordered this coming weekend.
He said the nursery sold 500 trees on Black Friday.