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Real Christmas trees at higher prices this season as short supply continues

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 4:54 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 7:49 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Everyone knows that one person who waits until Christmas Eve to buy presents. But this year, Christmas tree farmers in South Carolina caution people to not wait that long if they want to celebrate around a real tree.

“We’re probably going to run out of trees in early December,” said Bryan Price of Price’s Christmas Tree Farm.

Price owns the Lexington County farm and also serves as the president of the South Carolina Christmas Tree Association, which counts around 50 farms as members, and he said many of them will likely also quickly sell out of trees this season.

Price grows his own trees and orders Fraser firs from North Carolina, which he said have been in shorter supply for the last few years.

“There was a glut several years back, and people didn’t plant as many. Demand was down a little bit, and demand has come back up sharply in the last couple years, and so now they’re caught with not enough trees to go around,” he said, adding that weather events have also contributed to the short stock.

This year, those who love the look, the feel, and, of course, the smell of a real tree will likely have to pay a bit more too.

“As the trees became short, prices have steadily risen up wholesale-wise,” Price said. “So we’ve tried to hold the line as much as we could, but wholesale prices have gone up so much on us. In some cases, it’s gone up $25 per tree.”

Farmers are “planting like crazy” right now, according to Price, but it can take nearly a decade for some varieties of Christmas trees to mature, which could keep prices at farms and tree lots elevated for another few years.

“I order my trees a full year ahead, and we’ve been getting our trees, but we aren’t getting the numbers that we’d like to have,” Price said. “I know some lots were not able to open at all because they couldn’t get trees.”

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