‘Oh Christmas tree, no Christmas tree


Ren Lloyd

From gingerbread house making to wrapping presents, the holiday season includes loads of activities. However, Christmas tree shopping and decorating might not happen for thousands of Americans this year. Prices for both artificial and real trees will drastically increase for the 2021 holiday season.

Ren Lloyd, Reporter

The holidays include a multitude of festive activities, such as traveling, gathering with family, and most importantly, Christmas tree shopping. However, this year Christmas trees may become difficult to find. Due to climate change and increasing demand for both real and artificial trees, people can expect a treeless Christmas this year. 

According to CNBC, surging consumer demand, labor shortages and overseas manufacturing delays all take part in the decrease in the availability of Christmas trees. This shortage causes higher shipping costs and tree prices will skyrocket over 25%. Additionally, the shortage of truck drivers and increasing gas prices also contribute to this issue. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of Americans lost or quit their jobs, including truck drivers. Without a sufficient number of truck drivers, it becomes excessively expensive and difficult to transport trees from place to place. 

“Companies don’t want to pay their workers and the people are over it. People don’t want to work for companies where they’re going to get minimum wage or less than that., especially with labor-intensive jobs such as truck driving and lumberjacks,” magnet junior Allyson Kirksey said. 

Climate change also took a huge toll on the potential Christmas tree shortage this year. In the Pacific Northwest and Midwest regions of the U.S., summer floods, wildfires, and droughts cause harm to the trees which make trees less available in the wintertime. Due to these natural disasters, tree farms planted fewer trees this year, causing less availability during the holiday season. Additionally, Oregon, one of the country’s top tree-growing states, faced an extreme heatwave this past summer. Surveys from the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry and Washington Department of Natural Resources found tree scorching on about 229,000 acres. Since the majority of the trees grown for Christmas come from Oregon, the total number of trees sold dropped 27% since 2015, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture

“The supply of real Christmas trees will be impacted by the extreme weather conditions—fires, drought, heat—that hammered growers this season. Artificial tree supplies are being impacted by the serious supply chain issues that are plaguing just about every product that is imported into the U.S,” the American Christmas Tree Association said.

However, people can still use their creativity to create a replacement tree. Instead of buying a real tree, some people use fairy lights or Christmas lights shaped into a treelike design on the wall. One could also use a simple object such as a cone-shaped tomato cage and decorate it to match the traditional Christmas tree look by using ornaments and lights. 

Hopefully, people will start shopping for a Christmas tree before they run out. With increasing tree prices and delayed holiday shipping, buying a tree will gradually become more unattainable until a solution appears. Nevertheless, people can still enjoy the festivities of Christmas without an ornament-filled tree.