COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — A number of products on the market right now are experiencing a supply chain shortage due to the pandemic, and live Christmas trees are no exception.
But, though customers may be paying a little bit more for their trees this year, have no fear – the trees are still here!
Experts say Christmas trees are harder to find from suppliers nationwide this season, due to record purchase of trees last Christmas. Trees can cost anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent more, even artificial tree prices are up. And tree lot managers in the Brazos valley have been feeling the difference.
“Because of the shortage, we have had to reach out and try to find more sources for new trees," said Mark Scarmardo, manager for the Farm Patch lot in College Station. "It's just because, even the farmers that will sell to us don’t have the number of trees they normally do.”
Employees with Farm Patch have had to work extra hard to get a good selection of trees this year. So have members of the College Station Noon Lions Club, who run a tree lot for charity proceeds every year.
“We had to get a new vendor because there is a nationwide tree shortage," said Meredith Childs, co-chair of tree sales for the club . "And the vendor we had for the last two years was unable to fulfill our entire order. We weren’t going to be able to get eight foot trees or seven foot trees, and that wasn’t going to work for us. People expect us to have excellent trees."
Both these lot operators say the trees will be a little more expensive than usual. The Lions Club have also had to diversify species this season.
“They’re not all Frasers this year," said Childs. "We do have some Fraser fir crosses, and our five foot trees are balsams. And, we have a couple that are called Korean firs. They are beautiful. They have a silver color underneath, and a dark green on top.”
These two organizations have hundreds of trees available in varying sizes and species. Sales begin for both lots on Friday morning, and they will continue throughout the holiday season until the lots run out.
“We’ll start out with a big amount, and we’ll fill in as needed," said Scarmardo.
The Farm Patch tree lot is located under a large red and white tent behind Razoo's Cajun Cafe, off of University Drive in College Station. The Lions Club lot is located off Texas Avenue and West King Cole Drive in College Station, adjacent to the old police department building.