Needle up on Christmas tree prices in Georgia

Needle up on Christmas tree prices in Georgia
Needle up on Christmas tree prices in Georgia

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Millions of families begin the search for a Christmas tree over the holiday weekend, but buyers in the bi-state area may have to pay more.

If you’re looking for an artificial tree, the supply is good, unlike last year when delays from manufacturers allowed some deliveries to be delayed until after the holidays.

But that’s a different story with real trees.

Chris Butler, CEO of National Tree Co., explains it this way:

“We probably have the tightest supply we’ve had in years.”

And that means higher prices.

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Those who want a real tree will probably pay more because of inflation. A survey showed that wholesale prices increased by 5-15%.

Some Georgia tree vendors say consumers will be hit harder.

Rob Dillon, who manages a Christmas tree lot in Buckhead, said the average tree will cost 30-40% more than last year.

Another seller said he raised his prices by at least $20 to $40 per tree.

A day before Thanksgiving, Dillon was already selling his medium-sized trees.

“The most popular tree sizes were the hardest to find,” Dillon said.

“Maybe this is the year to try a little Christmas tree,” Dillon suggested.

Dillon said there was a shortage of 8- to 10-foot trees in the Southeast.

“Ultimately people stop putting Christmas trees in the ground,” Dillon said, adding that after the 2008 recession the Christmas tree industry suffered and growers stopped planting. Fraser firs in the mountains of western North Carolina.

“We are now feeling the drop in production that occurs when these trees are not planted,” Dillon said.

He expects the supply of medium-sized trees to stabilize over the next few years as more trees reach this optimal level.

However, at least for this year, he warned customers that it might be a good idea to buy earlier than usual this holiday season to have the best chance of getting the size they want.

“I see a lot of sticker shock,” he said.

Based on reports from WANF and CBS News

Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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